Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Blackhawks seeking offense, tweak lines for Game 3

Blackhawks seeking offense, tweak lines for Game 3

The Chicago Blackhawks coasted their way through the regular season and made their way into the top spot of the Western Conference headed into the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. While things may look bleak now, there is hope on the horizon and Game Three is a new day....yes it is!

Through the first two games of the series, the Predators did an effective job of blocking or disrupting the Blackhawks' shot attempts.

It got so bad that late in the second period Patrick Kane took an uncharacteristic roughing penalty and the crowd booed the Hawks off the ice headed into intermission.

"We think our depth and experience on the backend is one of the strengths of our team", says head coach Joel Quenneville, "And I think that experience is something that, we had three young guys that might have been playing a year ago".

Nobody in town will argue.

Of all of the Predators teams that have qualified for the playoffs in franchise history, this year's version is the most talented.

But it can all go away quickly - and no team knows that better than these Predators. Those guys won't beat anybody that way. Predators C Colin Wilson missed his second game of the series because of a lower-body injury.

"It's not so much what they're doing", Quenneville said.

They've gone 156 minutes, 40 seconds without a goal in playoff play, dating back to Game 7 in St. Louis last spring. Defensively, the Chicago Blackhawks are allowing 2.6 goals per game and are killing 77.7 percent of their opponents power plays.

So just how anxious should fans be?

But someone forgot to inform the Hawks for the first 20 minutes.

Dishonorable Mention: Chicago has yet to score a goal through two games and have lost six straight going back to the regular season ... The Predators are using their toughness to force things to the outside and above the goal line, and it's totally stifling the Blackhawks' offense. The circumstances this time around are not quite the same (the Blackhawks' situation is a little more dire and Crawford hasn't struggled quite as much), but it wouldn't be totally unprecedented, either. But no longer content to sit back on a slim lead, the Predators went for the kill in the second period, getting goals from Harry Zolnierczyk and Colton Sissons.

Before the game, the Hawks talked about challenging goalie Pekka Rinne more, and mentioned traffic enough to have it sponsored and updated on the 8s.

"This feels great personally", Rinne said.

- Anaheim proved that other teams were right to want to avoid them. they jumped on Calgary like Chicago votes. early and often, even though the Flames gave 'em a run at the end. Game 1 was easy to write off. That was the case in Game 1 as Rinne stopped all 29 shots he faced to blank the Blackhawks. Viktor Arvidsson ended at a staggering 70.37 percent last night, with 19 shots attempted on Crawford while he was on the ice opposed to eight making their way towards Rinne.

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville shuffled his lineup, inserting rookie Vinnie Hinostroza and Dennis Rasmussen and benching veteran Jordin Tootoo and John Hayden. The fact is, though, that the two netminders were about as evenly matched as could be coming into the best-of-seven.

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