The Blackhawks will play the final matchup of their six-game road trip tonight against the Predators. Catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet beginning at 6:30 with Blackhawks Pregame Live.
The Blackhawks began their six-game road trip back on Jan. 30 after achieving a 6-0-0 record to kick off the abbreviated 2013 season. Before heading to Minnesota, Marian Hossa said this trip would be a big test for the Hawks and a strong indicator of just how talented this year's roster is. As they head into their final matchup before returning home, the Blackhawks remain undefeated in regulation and continue to stand as the No. 1 team in the league.
But before the Hawks pack it up and come back home, they have some business to take care of in Nashville. The Predators (5-2-4) will face the Blackhawks for the first time this season, immediately following an overtime loss to the Wild on Saturday. Nashville ranks at No. 5 in the Western Conference, just two points behind the San Jose Sharks.
During the offseason, the Predators lost star defenseman Ryan Suter in Minnesota's mega-deal that inked him and former Devils captain Zach Parise for 13 years and $96 million each. Between Suter's departure and a young defensive roster, it could have been easy to expect a drop in talent at the blue line this year. While the team has struggled defensively at times this season, their offensive play has been strong enough to lead to their 5-2-4 record.
Martin Erat and Colin Wilson lead Nashville's offense with seven points apiece. Defensemen Kevin Klein has recorded five points since the start of the campaign, and Ryan Ellis falls closely behind with four points.
In the past, the Blackhawks have struggled against the Predators, recording a 2-6 record at the Bridgestone Arena. Overall, Nashville holds a 21-13-6 record on home ice against Chicago. As Hossa said, this long road trip right at the start of the season is a big test for his team, and tonight will be no exception.
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