[8:00 PM] Blackhawks @ Predators

Who will WIN this matchup?

Chicago Blackhawks (0-1-0)

@ Nashville Predators (0-0-0)


Starting Goalies:

Corey Crawford(CHI): Confirmed

Pekka Rinne (NSH): Confirmed


Current odds:

Chicago Blackhawks: (+105)

Nashville Predators: (-125)


The Nashville Predators bolstered their already impressive defense in the summer by acquiring P.K. Subban from Montreal in a blockbuster deal for fellow blue-liner Shea Weber. The offensive-minded Subban will look to add to coach Peter Laviolette’s up-tempo style for the Predators, who begin a season of great expectations at Bridgestone Arena on Friday in the opener of a home-and-home series versus the Central Division-rival Chicago Blackhawks.

While reigning Hart Trophy winner Patrick Kane and captain Jonathan Toews have plenty of experience under their belts, Chicago had five rookies in Wednesday’s lineup – with four making their NHL debut.  Ryan Hartman, who was the Blackhawks’ 2013 first-round pick, scored his first NHL goal on Wednesday while playing in his ninth career game.

Filip Forsberg (franchise high-tying 33 goals) and James Neal (31 goals) lead a top-heavy offense that needs Colin Wilson to carry his form from the postseason (13 points in 14 games) into the regular season. In-season acquisition Ryan Johansen should take another step forward as the team’s top center and veteran Mike Fisher – who was named the seventh captain in franchise history – looks to take over the leadership role from the departed Weber. Veteran goaltender Pekka Rinne, who will turn 34 next month, needs to prove he’s ahead of the curve on Father Time after seeing his save percentage dip under .910 for the third time in four seasons.

Chicago D Niklas Hjalmarsson will return to the ice after serving a suspension for charging St. Louis’ Ty Rattie during a preseason game on Oct. 1.

Nashville lost 14 games that ventured past regulation last season, second only to Carolina (16).

The Central Division rivals will reconvene at the United Center on Saturday.


StreakSmarts Pick: Nashville Predators  

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick