Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks - 4/17/17 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Getty Images  Credit Jonathan Daniel

While the option for a six- or seven-game series victory is still on the table for Chicago, few would have expected that the Predators would enter Game 3 holding a 2-0 series lead, nor would it be expected that the Blackhawks' chances would look so bleak after a pair of home games.

Finally, what's been excellent to see about the Predators is how unfazed they are by the Blackhawks, especially as the series has gotten chippier. He hasn't been great so far, but it's no surprise as he's far from the biggest culprit in the team's struggles.

From the Blackhawks, I would expect to see more urgency in their game. "It will be fun". The Predators lead the series, 2-0, and will put the Blackhawks on the ropes with another victory. The Predators have been doing a good job disrupting Chicago's flow in the neutral zone, but might have to become similarly aggressive in the defensive zone, should the Blackhawks adjust to counter the Predators' phalanx.

For the Predators to earn another road win, goaltender Pekka Rinne likely will have to be at his best. With veteran leadership and a history of overcoming early playoff deficits, the Chicago Blackhawks are far from an early exit from the postseason. "At the end of the day, it has to be energy, speed and just that competitive nature has to kick in right away and we can't wait for them to wake us up". I'm really excited for Game 2. The Sharks will look to even the series as the teams tangle in Game 4 on Tuesday night at SAP Center.

"That was frustration to a different level", said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville of Saturday's loss.

The Blackhawks have overcome more hard deficits in postseasons past including a 3-1 deficit to the Detroit Red Wings during the quest to their fifth Stanley Cup Trophy. The only one this season, regular or playoffs, that Nashville didn't have a handle of the puck was the playoff opener on Thursday night - and it still won. "We got the result we wanted, but we have a lot of work yet to do. There's a lot of positive vibes going around about [how] we've been great on the road all year".

"There's got to be more desperation".

"For us, it's getting back to that desperate energy, the scratching-and-clawing, whatever-it-takes type of hockey", Toews said. Fighting for your ice and space is going to be paramount. It'd be nice to get one of those bounces. After Viktor Arvidsson scored in the first period, the Predators largely sat back and played defense.

Don't count the Blackhawks out just yet; if they can score first and pull the Predators out of that stifling D, they may just stand a chance.

In previous years, this number would have been closer to four or five even with the fact that the team lost two straight games at home. "You can't just defend that team". They're not going to let anyone walk over them this postseason. That's 11 playoff games without a goal for a guy considered one of the best playoff performers in recent National Hockey League history. The Blackhawks are averaging 2.9 goals per game and are scoring on 18 percent of their power play opportunities. Ellis' shot from the high slot was blocked by a sliding Panik, but the defenseman tried again and drove it by Corey Crawford for a 1-0 lead at 3:44.

Error! There was an error processing your request. Crawford boasts a 48-34 career playoff record with a 2.25 GAA and.920 save percentage.

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