Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Predators Friday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.
1. Let's go line dancing. Joel Quenneville is a habitual line tinkerer, and on Friday, we'll get our first glimpse at the new Blackhawks' forward groupings. Although the shakeup hits all four lines, the most interesting switch comes at the top, where rookie Alex DeBrincat gets his chance to play alongside Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad. The 19-year-old has only one goal in the team's first 10 games, but maybe he, and the offense, will get a jump-start from the changes.
Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz welcome Richard Panik to the second line, keeping an edge of physicality in the fold. Panik is already tied for fourth on the team with eight points, so it will be intriguing to see how he adds to what is usually the Hawks best offensive line.
2. Gotta be special. The Preds have some of the best special teams in the NHL, ranking sixth on the power play and fifth on the penalty kill. Sources say that's pretty good, and the Blackhawks would be wise to stay out of the penalty box.
It seems rather unlikely that the Hawks' 20th-ranked power play will snap out of its funk against the astute Preds' kill, but strange things seem to happen when these two teams square off...
3. Sweet smell of revenge (kinda). Winning a regular season game in October doesn't quite equate to sweeping a playoff series, but the Hawks' overtime win in Nashville a few weeks back was a positive step on the revenge ladder.
Expect the Hawks to be skating with a little extra juice come 7:30 p.m., when they hit the ice to try and wipe away bad memories from home fans' minds.