Blackhawks

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks open road trip in Nashville tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks open road trip in Nashville tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Nashville Predators tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. 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. New lines and defensive pairings.

The Blackhawks have scored two goals in their last two games, prompting Joel Quenneville to spruce up the lines and defensive pairings at practice. Tyler Motte was promoted to the top line with Ryan Hartman and Jonathan Toews while Vinnie Hinostroza was moved to the fourth line with Tanner Kero and Jordin Tootoo. Andrew Desjardins is likely to be a healthy scratch. On defense, it appears Brian Campbell will be a healthy scratch, snapping a streak where he's played 423 straight in the regular season. Gustav Forsling is also likely to be out of the lineup, with Michal Kempny and Michal Rozsival each drawing back in.

2. No P.K. Subban.

The Predators will be without Subban for the sixth straight game due to an upper-body injury, which is good news for the Blackhawks. The 27-year-old blue liner potted his first goal in a Predators uniform in the team's season-opening 3-2 win over the Blackhawks, and registered an assist the next night in a 5-3 loss against Chicago. He's a major part of Nashville's transition game and power play, which is only 1-for-10 in his absence.

3. Staying strong on the penalty kill.

Without P.K. Subban, the Predators power play doesn't have its big weapon from the point. In their first two meetings against the Blackhawks, the Predators converted on 4 of 8 power-play attempts. The Blackhawks have allowed only three goals on the man advantage in 13 games this month, and will look to stay strong on the PK with Nashville down P.K.

4. Filip Forsberg heating up.

After scoring only two goals in his first 27 games, Forsberg has found the back of the net four times in his last seven games, including three times in his last four. He led the Predators with 33 goals last season, and for whatever reason, hasn't been able to find that same success on offense this year. But he's heating up, and there's still more than half of the season left to be played.

5. Artemi Panarin's point streak.

Fresh off inking a two-year contract extension to remain in Chicago, Panarin will aim to extend his career-long point streak to nine games. He has five goals and nine assists during that stretch, and ranks fifth in the league with 37 points. He remains five points away from Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid for the league lead.

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Eddie Olczyk takes "One More Shift" with Blackhawks on Sunday

Eddie Olczyk takes "One More Shift" with Blackhawks on Sunday

Pregame at the United Center was extra special on Sunday night.

Ahead of their game against the Wild, the Blackhawks honored former Blackhawk and current television color analyst Eddie Olczyk with "One More Shift." Olczyk suited up in his Blackhawks uniform, skating around the United Center ice ahead of puck drop.

In addition to honoring Olczyk, the Blackhawks also hosted their "Hockey Fights Cancer" night, wearing special lavender-colored jerseys during warmups. Olczyk recently beat colon cancer, so the night surely was special for him as a whole.

The Blackhawks selected Olczyk, 52, third overall in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. He scored 77 goals across five seasons with the team (1984-87, 1998-00).

In the past, the Blackhawks have also honored Bryan Bickell, Ed Belfour, Steve Larmer, Jeremy Roenick, Ed Belfour and Troy Murray, among others, with "One More Shift."

Four takeaways: Blackhawks can't solve rookie Cal Petersen in shootout loss

Four takeaways: Blackhawks can't solve rookie Cal Petersen in shootout loss

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 2-1 shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings at the United Center on Friday:

1. Blackhawks can't solve Cal Petersen

With Jonathan Quick (knee), Jack Campbell (knee) and Peter Budaj (sick) out, the Kings trotted out former Notre Dame standout Petersen to make his first career NHL start between the pipes. And he didn't disappoint.

The 24-year-old stopped 34 of 35 shots (.971 save percentage) in 65 minutes of play and denied Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in the shootout to earn his first victory in the big leagues.

"He was good, yeah," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "The third period was more like it. If we’d had 60 minutes [like that] maybe we break him down eventually. He did well, he did a good job. I thought we had a little more traffic, got some more pucks to the net. That was better. But you can’t help but think if we’d have had that push earlier, then we’d get paid off for it."

2. Line changes serve as third-period spark

After failing to generate many scoring chances in the first two periods, Jeremy Colliton spruced up his top-six by putting Brandon Saad with Kane and Toews and Nick Schmaltz with Alex DeBrincat and Artem Anisimov. They saw the benefits almost immediately.

Saad scored 2:39 into the final frame after burying a feed at the doorstep by Toews for his third goal in six games, tying the game at 1-1.

'We showed some resiliency battling in the third," Saad said. "It was definitely a slow start. We've got to play a full 60 minutes to win hockey games, but I think it shows some character how we can battle back in the third. And then overtime we had some chances and some puck possession, and when it comes down to a shootout it can be anyone's game. But the message for us is to play a full 60, because when we play well you can see that we have opportunities and a better chance to win the hockey game."

3. Power play comes up empty

Special teams was the deciding factor in the Blackhawks' last two games. They gave up two power-play goals in 66 seconds against Carolina on Monday and then beat St. Louis 1-0 on Wednesday thanks to a power-play goal of their own.

The Blackhawks had three power-play opportunities against the Kings, and all three of them came in the second period. They recorded a combined six shots on goal during them, but reverted back to some old habits by waiting for the open shot and lacking net-front presence.

"You get three in the second, it would be nice to get one," Kane said. "Even if you're not getting anything on it, it's nice to get momentum off of it. I thought we did a decent job of getting momentum, getting some chances and some looks. Sometimes you've just got to converge on the net and hopefully get those rebounds and try to find a way to get one a little bit dirtier."

The Blackhawks also allowed a breakaway chance towards the end of the third power play, but Corey Crawford saved the day. Tyler Toffoli scored 19 seconds after the Blackhawks' first power play to make it 1-0 Kings.

4. Meet your newest Blackhawk

The Blackhawks had a visitor at morning skate in Carter Holmes, an 11-year-old from Wisconsin, who is battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma. As part of the Make-A-Wish Experience, Holmes became a Blackhawk for a day and practiced with the team, including his favorite player Patrick Kane.

"I might have to change my number," Kane joked about Holmes, who wears No. 88 because of Kane. "I think he was a little bit better than me out there today."

It was the first time Holmes skated since being diagnosed on June 30, four days after his team took first place at a tournament. Holmes feared that he would never be able to play hockey again, but that won't be the close. He's expected to re-join his teammates soon, even if it may take a while to get back into game shape.

"It's pretty special," Kane said of Holmes, who will drop the ceremonial first puck on Sunday for "Hockey Fights Cancer" Night at the United Center. "Sometimes you're just playing hockey and worried about the business aspect of it, but days like today you can take a step back and realize there's more important things out there."