Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Nashville Predators in Game 4 tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage starts with Pregame Live at 6 p.m. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.
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Five Things to Watch:
1. Blackhawks fighting history.
By the end of this series, the Blackhawks will either make history or be just another statistic. Only four teams in NHL history have overcome a 3-0 deficit in a seven-games series out of 185 tries (2.16 percent success rate): Toronto Maple Leafs (1942), New York Islanders (1975), Philadelphia Flyers (2010) and Los Angeles Kings (2014). The Maple Leafs and Kings won the Stanley Cup that year, while the Flyers went on to reach the Stanley Cup Final against ... the Blackhawks. Peter Laviolette was also Philadelphia's coach that season.
The Blackhawks have seemingly been through it all under Joel Quenneville, but they've never fallen into a 3-0 hole while losing the first two at home. The one time they did trail 3-0 in a series, they rallied to force a Game 7 before falling in overtime to the Vancouver Canucks in 2011.
2. A shake-up on defense?
With their backs against the wall, the Blackhawks might be making a change on defense. Michal Kempny was skating with Brent Seabrook on the second pairing during Wednesday's practice while trade deadline acquisition Johnny Oduya was the odd man out. All signs point to Kempny playing in his first career playoff game. Oduya has a combined minus-3 rating in the last two games, and has struggled to keep up with the Predators' speed.
3. Filip Forsberg.
Nashville's entire first line of Forsberg, Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson has been dominant against the Blackhawks, but Forsberg has been giving this group fits at Bridgestone Arena in the postseason. In his last three home playoff games against the Blackhawks (dating back to their first-round matchup in 2015), Forsberg has six goals and an assist along with 13 shots on goal. He's been lights out so far, and is a big reason the Predators are up 3-0 in the series.
4. Sustaining strong starts.
In all three games, the Blackhawks have really dictated the pace of play in the first five minutes or so, but they haven'y been able to sustain it for very long. In Game 1, they recorded only one shot on goal in the final 14 minutes of the first period. In Game 3, they allowed 35 shot attempts (18 on goal) in the opening frame. Getting the first goal is important, but playing their game for a long stretch consistently is what generates momentum. They haven't been able to do that yet.
5. And stronger finishes.
The Blackhawks have been close to impossible to beat over the last three years when leading after two periods, but suffered a rare loss in that department after they let a two-goal lead slip away in Game 3 and fell in overtime. The Predators haven't taken their foot off the gas at any moment this series because no lead is safe in the playoffs, especially against the Blackhawks. It's time for Chicago to do the same.
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