Series (Game 5 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Wednesday, October 13th
Game 2: Saturday, November 13th
Game 3: Wednesday, December 22nd
Game 4: Saturday, January 15th
Game 5: Sunday, January 16th
Game 6: Thursday, February 24th

Predators 3

(24-15-6, 54 pts)

Blackhawks 6

(25-18-4, 54 pts)

Coverage: NHL

7:00 PM ET, January 16, 2011

United Center, Chicago, Illinois

1 2 3 T
NSH 2 0 13
CHI 1 1 46

T. Brouwer (Blackhawks - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

D. Bolland (Blackhawks - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

J. Dumont (Predators - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

Predators-Blackhawks Preview


The Nashville Predators may not have as many All-Stars as the Chicago Blackhawks, but their one representative has been pretty effective recently.

Shea Weber and the surging Predators look to sweep a home-and-home series against the Blackhawks on Sunday night when the teams meet at the United Center.

Weber was named to his second All-Star team earlier this week, the lone Raleigh-bound Predators player. The defenseman leads Nashville (24-14-6) with 27 points, including eight goals.

The Predators' captain had the tying goal in a 3-2 shootout victory over Chicago on Saturday. The third-period score extended Weber's career-high points streak to eight games, which includes three goals and nine assists. He has two goals in his last three games against the Blackhawks.

"That was a huge goal and a huge two points for us," coach Barry Trotz said.

Jerred Smithson also scored in the third Saturday, ending Corey Crawford's shutout streak at more than 176 minutes, while Marcel Goc converted the only goal in the shootout.

The win was Nashville's seventh in eight games and helped the Predators bounce back from a 3-2 loss at Florida on Thursday. They now open a season-high six-game road trip that will take them to the All-Star break.

"It was a good way to start," Trotz said of Saturday's win. "The last home game of the month, do something that was worthwhile."

The victory was the third in four tries for the Predators against the Central Division rival Blackhawks, who ousted them from the playoffs in the opening round last season. It was also the second time they defeated them in a shootout after trailing early.

Nashville, which has split two visits to Chicago, is two points ahead of the Blackhawks in the standings.

Chicago (24-18-4) will look to bounce back after having its three-game winning streak snapped. Saturday's loss was the team's fifth in its last six road games, although it has been more successful at home recently, winning three straight and seven of nine.

The Blackhawks outscored the New York Islanders and Colorado by a combined 9-0 in their last two home games, a streak they'll look to extend Sunday.

"Obviously it's a huge game," coach Joel Quenneville said of the rematch. "It's a big weekend for us. The standings are still jumbled up going into the game and coming out."

Chicago's four All-Stars were held off the scoresheet Saturday. Patrick Kane's five-game points streak was snapped and he, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp all came up empty in the shootout. The fourth All-Star, defenseman Duncan Keith, has one point in his last 10 games.

Sharp, who leads Chicago with 25 goals and 44 points, came in with four goals in the previous five games. He also missed on a breakaway attempt in overtime.

"It's frustrating that we couldn't get it done," Toews said.

That's been a problem for the Blackhawks against the Predators this season. Besides the two shootout losses in which they led entering the third period, the Blackhawks also suffered a 3-2 home defeat to Nashville on Oct. 13 after holding a 2-1 lead coming out of second intermission.