NASHVILLE – The Blackhawks have always put a premium on starting well. Considering what happened in Game 1, it was stressed that much more on Friday.
Corey Crawford is back in net and any other lineup changes are “unlikely,” according to coach Joel Quenneville, when the Blackhawks face the Nashville Predators in Game 2 of their Round 1 series at Bridgestone Arena. The Blackhawks had a forgettable start to Game 1, when Nashville got off to a 3-0 lead and Crawford was pulled for Scott Darling.
“We only can get better from that first game,” Bryan Bickell said. “They’ve come out flying in the first every game we’ve played them here. They don’t want to lose and go into our building down 2-0, so we need to match the intensity.”
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Said Marian Hossa, “We have to play better defensively, help our goalie. We didn’t help crow at all.”
Conversely, the Predators are trying to avoid their second period from Game 1. The Blackhawks stormed back to tie it, 3-3, scoring two of their goals on power plays (5-on-3 and 5-on-4). Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said the Predators have to stay more disciplined.
“I don’t think you can go to the penalty box often against a team like Chicago with the skill set and personnel they have and be happy with the results,” he said. “Certainly, the second periods haven’t been our strongest lately. There are things we can do better.”
- Darling understood why Quenneville went back to Crawford for this game and sees the Blackhawks’ No. 1 goaltender responding. “I think Crow’s going to play great tonight,” said Darling, who said goalies just have to roll with the pressure, bad periods and goals. “We’ve all been there. Things don’t go your way sometimes and you’re put under the microscope but you have to block it all out and get ready to go.”
-Antoine Vermette will be a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game. Andrew Desjardins, David Rundblad, Kyle Cumiskey and Michael Paliotta are also expected to be healthy scratches for Game 2.
-According to The Tennessean, Mike Fisher is likely out for Game 2. Fisher suffered a lower-body injury during Game 1 and did not return.