NHL on NBCSN: ‘Hawks could take over top spot in the Central with win over Preds

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

Despite a mediocre 2-3-1 stretch, the Chicago Blackhawks could take over top spot in the Central Division with a win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. Chicago would also need the Jets to beat the Stars for that to happen.

Looking ahead is important, but keeping an eye in the rear-view mirror isn’t a bad idea either. The St. Louis Blues trail the ‘Hawks by two points, which makes tonight’s Central Division clash that much more important.

The Blackhawks are coming off an embarrassing 6-1 Stadium Series loss to the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.

“It was tough,” said Crawford of the Stadium Series loss. “A little embarrassing to be honest, to have our fans come in and watch that.”

Barring a monumental collapse down the stretch, the Predators should also be in the playoff picture in the Western Conference.

They currently own the first Wild Card spot and they’re coming off a pair of wins in Montreal and Toronto.

Predators forward Filip Forsberg has been terrific of late. The 21-year-old scored a hat trick in Tuesday’s win over the Maple Leafs, and he’s picked up  nine goals and 12 points in his last nine contests.

“Me and (Ribeiro and Smith) have really connected lately and are just playing really good hockey,” said Forsberg, per the Associated Press. “We’re spending a lot of time in the offensive zone and that helps a lot.”

Forsberg’s scored two goals against the ‘Hawks this season.

This will be the fifth and final meeting of the season between Chicago and Nashville. The Blackhawks have won three of the first four games.