NASHVILLE – Tyler Motte will move up to the second line and Trevor van Riemsdyk will be scratched when the Blackhawks face the Nashville Predators tonight at Bridgestone Arena.
Motte, who made his NHL debut on a line with Marcus Kruger and Ryan Hartman, was skating with Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane this morning.
“It’s the same approach for me. Just a little different chemistry with the line, that’s about it,” Motte said following Friday morning’s skate. “I was comfortable with Krugs and Hartman. Shaking the lines doesn’t change anyone’s mindset. You just try to create a little more offense.”
Motte moved up and down the lineup in preseason games so coach Joel Quenneville doesn’t expect him to have a tough time adjusting.
“We tried him a couple of times. It looks like he can handle playing big minutes, important minutes and playing with some top guys,” Quenneville said. “He gives us a different look as far as getting a little more balance in our lines…. But I still think he’s capable of scoring playing with those guys. He gives us some predictability defensively. He’s had a good camp and we liked his first game as well.”
The Blackhawks did shake up their lines a bit heading into tonight’s game. Artemi Panarin joined Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik on the top line and Marian Hossa, who did not practice on Thursday, was on the third line with Kruger and Hartman.
Meanwhile, with Niklas Hjalmarsson back in the lineup, van Riemsdyk, who’s coming off a tough game vs. the St. Louis Blues, is scratched.
“We have to make a tough decision,” Quenneville said. “We expect [van Riemsdyk] to be one of the guys who will be regularly playing based sometimes on performance, sometimes needs. We need him to be better than he was on opening night.”
Blackhawks at Predators
When: 7 p.m.
TV: CSN Chicago
Artemi Panarin-Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik
Tyler Motte-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane
Ryan Hartman-Marcus Kruger-Marian Hossa
Vinnie Hinostroza-Nick Schmaltz-Jordin Tootoo
Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook
Gustav Forsling-Brian Campbell
Goaltender: Corey Crawford
Filip Forsberg-Ryan Johansen-Kevin Fiala
Colin Wilson-Mike Fisher-James Neal
Calie Jarnkrok-Mike Ribeiro-Craig Smith
Viktor Arvidsson-Colton Sissons-Miikka Salomaki
Roman Jose-P.K. Subban
Mattias Ekholm-Ryan Ellis
Matt Carle-Anthony Bitetto
Goaltender: Pekka Rinne