Blackhawks gear up for gritty game against Predators

Blackhawks gear up for gritty game against Predators
February 10, 2013, 2:00 pm
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Defenseman Michal Rozsival will be back in the lineup and Corey Crawford will start when the Chicago Blackhawks wrap up their road trip against the Nashville Predators tonight.

 It’s been a successful run for the Blackhawks, who have gone 3-0-2 on this road trip and are 7-0-2 on the road overall. Now they want to close it out strong.

 “We’ve been playing some good hockey, so we’re looking to keep that going tonight and hopefully end with a win. But we know it’s going to be a tight game,” Viktor Stalberg said. “(The Predators) play a disruptive style of hockey. It’s going to be tough and we’re going to have to work for every centimeter, or every inch, out there.”

 The Blackhawks and Predators usually don’t have the prettiest games. It’s methodical, grind-it-out hockey, and the Blackhawks expect the same tonight.

 “Tonight’s going to be one of those games we’ll have to grind out because they try to force mistakes and not necessarily create offense,” Jonathan Toews said. “We’ll be smart in their zone especially, make sure not giving up pucks in the wrong areas. We just have to work for that offense. If we do, we know it’s going to come.”

 Rozsival will play for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury against the Dallas Stars in late January.

 “Rosie’s got some experience, reliability,” said coach Joel Quenneville. “It’s a nice situation where we feel both (he and Sheldon Brookbank) will help us as we go along. We want to keep them both playing.”

 The Blackhawks will face a Predators squad coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to Minnesota on Saturday night. Pekka Rinne is expected to start for Nashville.