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Blackhawks Vs. Predators Preview: Chicago Faces Off Against Feisty Nashville Squad

The Chicago Blackhawks Nashville predators will play twice over four days, and the first game comes on Saturday night in Nashville.

Might as well get used to seeing this matchup. The Chicago Blackhawks (29-13-6) and Nashville Predators (27-16-4) get together for the first of a home and home series before the All-Star break in Nashville on Saturday night, and then again in Chicago on Tuesday night. The Hawks started the month of January with four straight losses, but since that time they have gone 5-0-1 and are riding strong play from Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane during their recent streak.

The Predators have been hot themselves, going 8-2-0 in their last 10 games and have been getting quality goaltending performances from Pekka Rinne. He recorded his first shutout in nearly two months during Nashville's latest win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, and will face a very tough test against the potent Hawks offense. As for the other matchup points, check out this very cool team-vs-team comparison that comes from SB Nation's Predators blog, On The Forecheck:

Chicago (29-13-6) at Nashville (27-16-4)
CHI Offense vs. NSH Defense NSH Offense vs. CHI Defense
GF/60 SF/60 Shoot % GA/60 SA/60 Save %
CHI Offense 2.9 (4th) 31.6 (6th) 9.2 (8th) 2.5 (13th) 28.7 (8th) 912 (20th) CHI Defense
NSH Defensec 2.3 (8th) 31.1 (28th) 925 (8th) 2.2 (20th) 26.9 (26th) 8.1 (16th) NSH Offense
GA/60 SA/60 Save % GF/60 SF/60 Shoot %
Special Teams
GF/60 SF/60 Shoot % GA/60 SA/60 Save %
CHI 5-on-4 6.0 (16th) 53.4 (6th) 11.2 (17th) 7.5 (25th) 56.0 (29th) 866 (22nd) CHI 4-on-5
NSH 4-on-5 6.2 (19th) 52.7 (20th) 882 (15th) 7.4 (2nd) 49.5 (14th) 14.9 (4th) NSH 5-on-4
GA/60 SA/60 Save % GF/60 SF/60 Shoot %

Game date, time: 7:00 p.m. CT, Saturday, Jan. 21st, 2012

Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee


Radio: AM 720

Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the Chicago Blackhawks be sure to visit Second City Hockey. Predators coverage is available at On The Forecheck. Visit SB Nation NHL for more news and notes around the league.