Shea Weber

Weber out for remainder of series, but ‘did not suffer an ACL injury’

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Nashville captain Shea Weber has a lower-body injury and is out for the remainder of his team’s first-round series with the Chicago Blackhawks.

That’s the bad news.

However, despite reports to the contrary, Weber “did not suffer an ACL injury,” the Preds said today.

Weber was hurt in Game 2 of the series, which Chicago now leads 3-2.

Game 6 goes Saturday at United Center.

Seabrook does it again: Blackhawks win in triple OT, take 3-1 series edge vs. Preds

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In the wee hours of the night, the Chicago Blackhawks took a 3-1 series lead by beating the Nashville Predators 3-2 in triple OT.

If that outcome feels familiar for a Blackhawks team that has won many of these battles, it will only seem that much more like deja vu when you consider the fact that Brent Seabrook scored the overtime-clincher.

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It was a great showcase between $7 million goalie Pekka Rinne and out-of-nowhere backup Scott Darling. Those performances really make a great argument for the wild unpredictability of the postseason: goalies matter, yet you don’t always know who will make the difference.

Seabrook ended up making the ultimate difference with the winning goal, joining the likes of Petr Nedved and Keith Primeau as players who have scored huge tallies when everyone has dead legs.

At this point, it’s all about waiting for different folk tale-like stories about weight loss and intermission pizza to trickle in.

Rinne really stood on his head at times, with this save maybe being the best highlight of the game beyond the clincher:

Ultimately, that last shot beat him, which is what most people will remember as the specifics fade.

Classic game or not, the two teams must face the reality of the aftermath. Despite pushing Chicago to double-OT in Game 1 and triple-OT in Game 4, Nashville now heads home down 3-1 in this series. As courageous as this Predators team has been with Mike Fisher and especially Shea Weber out of the lineup, most are counting them out after this loss.

The Predators have pushed the Blackhawks a lot more than the 3-1 series deficit may indicate, but it will take a lot of heart to push through this crushing loss.

Chicago, meanwhile, can get a much-needed breather if they wrap this one up in five games. If the previous four contests are any indication, it won’t be easy, though.

Without Shea Weber, Predators can’t contain Hawks in Game 3

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Nashville earned a commanding 6-2 victory over Chicago on Friday to even the first round series at 1-1, but that was back when they were playing at the Bridgestone Arena. Throughout the season, the Predators have done significantly worse on the road and that trend continued with their 4-2 loss to Chicago this afternoon.

Which isn’t to suggest that the change in venue was the only factor in this game. Losing top-tier defenseman Shea Weber clearly hurt Nashville tonight. The fact that he’ll also be absent for Game 4 on Tuesday should be an area of substantial concern for the Predators. Part of the reason for that is goaltender Pekka Rinne’s shaky play as of late.

Early this season Rinne looked like a Vezina Trophy candidate, but as the campaign went on, Rinne declined substantially. He had a 2.48 GAA and .911 save percentage in 27 contests after the All-Star break and those struggles have carried into the playoffs. The Predators did make defensive mistakes which contributed to this loss, but it’s also true that Rinne wasn’t able to bail his defense out often enough tonight.

At the other end of the ice, Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling did a great job in his first start of the playoffs. Given Corey Crawford’s 6.75 GAA and .809 save percentage in two games against Nashville, it would be interesting if coach Joel Quenneville decided to go back to his veteran netminder for Game 4.

Chicago’s Jonathan Toews also had a big game with a goal and an assist while Brandon Saad’s marker proved to be the winner.

The Blackhawks have a 2-1 series lead with with two of the last four contests scheduled to be played in Chicago.

Watch Live: Predators at Blackhawks

The Predators and Blackhawks move to Chicago’s United Center this afternoon for Game 3 of the series.

After falling 4-3 in double-overtime in Game 1 the Preds rebounded with a 6-2 win in Game 2 on Friday.

Nashville captain Shea Weber will miss his first game due to a lower body injury suffered in Game 2. Chicago’s Antoine Vermette will make his series debut today.

Puck drop is at 3 p.m. ET on NBC. You can also stream it using NBCSports.com’s Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some relevant linkage for today’s affair:

Vermette returns to Blackhawks lineup for Game 3

Preds’ Weber not travelling to Chicago

Blackhawks’ Darling gets the nod for Game 3

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for today

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A quick look at what games will be on what channels in today’s Stanley Cup playoff action…

Capitals at Islanders, 12 p.m. ET on NBC

Goaltender Braden Holtby is expected to get the startt after missing Game 2 due to an illness. The Capitals will look to build on a 4-3 win on Friday night and take their first lead of the series this afternoon. The Islanders will once again be without defenseman Travis Hamonic due to an undisclosed injury. Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire have the call.

Predators at Blackhawks, 3 p.m. ET on NBC

The Blackhawks will also have a different Game 3 starter when their series with the Predators moves to Chicago’s Untied Center this afternoon. Head coach Joel Quenneville announced Scott Darling will make his first career Stanley Cup playoff start today. Darling made 42 saves in relief of Corey Crawford in Game 1. Meanwhile the Preds will be without captain Shea Weber for both Games 3 and 4 due to a lower body injury. Weber left Game 2 midway through the second period and did not return. Kenny Albert, Brian Engblom and Joe Micheletti will be on the call.

Canadiens at Senators, 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN

The Senators have questions in goal heading into Game 3 tonight in Ottawa. After a nearly perfect 20-1-2 record and 1.79 G.A.A. in the final months of the regular season, Andrew Hammond has lost the first two games of the series with Montreal and there’s some thought head coach Dave Cameron may go with veteran Craig Anderson in goal tonight. The 33-year-old had a 1.80 G.A.A. in the Sens 4-1 series win over the Habs during the 2013 playoffs. Chris Cuthbert and Bret Hedican have the call tonight.

Canucks at Flames, 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Friday night’s Game 2 featured six fighting majors, seven game misconducts and three 10-minute misconducts – much of which occurred in the final two minutes of the Canucks 4-1 win over the Flames. Calgary’s head coach Bob Hartley was fined $50,000 as a result of the melee. The series now moves to Calgary where the Flames will host a playoff game for the first time since losing in Game 6 of the first round in 2009. Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson and Scott Oake have the call of Game 3.