Blackhawks look for third straight win when they face Predators

Blackhawks look for third straight win when they face Predators

Corey Crawford is back in net and the Blackhawks will look to win their third in a row when they host the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.

The Blackhawks won back-to-back games against Buffalo and Carolina on Thursday and Friday. They beat the Predators on Dec. 29 in Nashville. And while the Predators will be missing some key players, including P.K. Subban and James Neal, the Blackhawks can’t take them lightly.

“Try to keep playing the same way,” Patrick Kane said. “I think we played better against Buffalo and Carolina, but try to get back to that puck-possession type of game, hanging on to the puck, keep it in their end a little bit more and hopefully control the game tonight. Try to keep getting some points here and keep rising in the division.”

The Blackhawks are currently atop the Western Conference with 55 points. Minnesota is two points behind them. Outside of Crawford, the Blackhawks should have the same lineup as on Friday.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

BLACKHAWKS VS. NASHVILLE PREDATORS

6 p.m.

TV: WGN

Radio: WGN 720 AM

Chicago Blackhawks

Forward lines

Vinnie Hinostroza-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero-Richard Panik

Andrew Desjardins-Dennis Rasmussen-Jordin Tootoo

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson

Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Goaltender

Corey Crawford

INJURIES/ILLNESS: Marcus Kruger (right arm).

Nashville Predators (via The Tennessean)

Forward lines

Filip Forsberg-Ryan Johansen-Calle Jarnkrok

Austin Watson-Mike Fisher-Colton Sissons

Kevin Fiala-Mike Ribeiro-Craig Smith

Harry Zolnierczyk-Vladislav Kamenev-Frederick Gaudreau

Defensive Pairs

Roman Josi-Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm-Matt Irwin

Pontus Aberg-Yannick Weber

Goaltender

Pekka Rinne

INJURIES/ILLNESS: P.K. Subban (reported herniated disc), James Neal (upper body), Colin Wilson (undisclosed).

Blackhawks sign defenseman Michal Kempny to extension

Blackhawks sign defenseman Michal Kempny to extension

Michal Kempny was in and out of the Blackhawks lineup last season but he’ll likely get a bigger opportunity this coming season. On Saturday, he was assured of coming back to get that chance.

Kempny and the Blackhawks agreed to a one-year extension, the team announced on Saturday morning.

“Michal’s style of play is an asset to our defense,” general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “He is the type of player who will continue to improve now that he has transitioned to the National Hockey League. We look forward to his continued development on the ice for the Blackhawks.”

Kempny was part of a very crowded blue line last season — he was one of eight defensemen at the start of it — and played 50 regular-season games. He recorded two goals and six assists in those contests but did not play in the Blackhawks’ four postseason contests. With Johnny Oduya and Brian Campbell likely not returning, however, Kempny should get a bigger opportunity this season.

The 26-year-old Kempny also had two goals and an assist in eight games for the Czech Republic team at the 2017 World Championship.

Blackhawks announce plans for NHL Draft Fan Fest

Blackhawks announce plans for NHL Draft Fan Fest

With exactly a month to go until Chicago hosts the 2017 NHL Draft for the first time ever, the Blackhawks and league announced Wednesday their plans for Fan Fest held outside the United Center on June 23 and 24.

A handful of Blackhawks players and alumni will be in attendance and made available for photo opportunities, as will the Stanley Cup. Fans will also be able to explore the NHL Centennial Fan Arena, "a 53-foot museum truck with an innovative interior featuring more than 1,000 square feet of interactive digital displays, original video content, one-of-a-kind historical memorabilia, unique photo moments and a social media wall," according to the press release.

A full list of activities, special guest appearances and schedule will be posted at a later date.

Friday's events will run from 3 to 9 p.m. while Saturday's festivites will go from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Parking Lot C, north of the United Center.

Additional passes for the weekend will be made available to the public starting June 9. For more information, visit chicagoblackhawks.com/fanfest.