NHL on NBCSN: ‘Hawks look to extend winning streak to 12 games in matchup with Preds


NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Nashville Predators host the Chicago Blackhawks at 8:00 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.

The Chicago Blackhawks are the hottest team in the NHL. The ‘Hawks enter tonight’s game against the Predators having won each of their last 11 games.

They’ve received contributions from several different players, but Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford have stepped up considerably during the streak.

Kane, who was named the first star of the week, has 19 points in his last 11 contests. The 27-year-old has been held pointless in just two games during the winning streak.

Jonathan Toews’ overall offensive numbers are down, but even he’s lighting it up. Toews scored twice in a 5-2 win over Montreal on Sunday, and he has 13 points in his last 11 games.

Duncan Keith, who’s averaging over 25 minutes a night, is red-hot. He’s averaging a point-per-game during the streak, and despite missing 10 games earlier this season, he’s still on pace to hit 55 points in ’15-16.

As for Crawford, he might be the biggest reason Chicago’s been able to put this winning streak together. The 31-year-old has won eight straight starts while allowing two goals or less in six of those eight contests.

How are things in Nashville?

Not good.

The Predators are coming off a 3-0 win over the Wild on Saturday, but that was their first win in five games. They have just two victories in 2016.

On a positive note, Ryan Johansen has been as good as advertised since being acquired from Columbus.

The 23-year-old has 33 points in 43 games since the beginning of the season, but he has two goals and seven points in five games with the Preds.

One player who hasn’t been very good for Nashville is goalie Pekka Rinne.

The 33-year-old has a 1-4-1 record in his last six games, and he has an overall record of 16-14-7 with a 2.57 goals-against-average and a .902 save percentage this season.

“It’s one of those things where you try to just trust the work you’re doing and try to focus on things you can control,” Rinne said, per The Tennessean. “It’s been frustrating. I can’t lie. But I obviously expect a lot from myself and it is tough when you feel like there’s room for you to improve and play better and help your team.”

Well, at least they’ll be hosting the All-Star game in a week and a half.