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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, November 16th (All times Eastern)

Chicago Blackhawks (13-2-4) at Nashville Predators (8-9-2), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Forward Kris Versteeg has already won a Stanley Cup title with the Chicago Blackhawks.

He has a chance to do it again as he begins his second tour of duty with the club on Saturday night in a road matchup with the Nashville Predators.

The 27-year-old Versteeg was acquired from the Florida Panthers on Thursday night along with minor leaguer Philippe Lefebvre for forward Jimmy Hayes and defenseman Dylan Olsen. He returns to the club he helped to a championship in 2010 as he posted six goals and eight assists in 22 playoff games.

Following that title, Versteeg was one of a handful of players the Blackhawks were forced to part ways with due to salary cap restraints as he was dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had two goals and five assists in 18 games with the Panthers this season.

"We are excited to bring Kris back to Chicago and are pleased to add a player with his experience and versatility to our lineup" said Chicago general manager Stan Bowman. "Kris is well-respected within our organization and will be able to make a seamless transition to our team because of his familiarity with many of our players and with coach (Joel) Quenneville."

Chicago announced it had acquired Versteeg moments after besting the Phoenix Coyotes 5-4 in a shootout on Thursday. Brandon Pirri tied the game three minutes into the third period and then netted the deciding goal in the shootout, with his fourth-round wrister trickling past Coyotes netminder Mike Smith.

"The was my first one up here," said Pirri about his shootout attempt. "I just wanted to get him moving because he's a big guy and tried to find a hole."

Marian Hossa, Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp also scored for the Blackhawks, who have won a season-high four straight games and seven of their last eight games. Corey Crawford made 26 saves.

Chicago will follow up this road test with a home meeting on Sunday against the San Jose Sharks and backup goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin is in line to get his fourth start of the season tonight and first since Oct. 29.

He is 14-11-2 with a tie and 2.75 goals against average in 28 career meetings with the Predators.

The Blackhawks have won each of their last six meetings with the Predators and three in a row in Nashville. That includes two straight shutout encounters.

The Preds have certainly struggled to score goals as of late, getting outscored 17-2 over a four-game slide. The current skid wrapped a seven-game road trip that Nashville began by going 2-0-1.

However, the Predators were unable to bust out of their slump last night, falling 4-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Gabriel Bourque registered the lone offense for the Predators, whose head coach had some harsh words for the club afterwards.

"There's a group of guys in there that have to give us more, plain and simple. We have too many guys that when it gets tough, they're feeling sorry for themselves. Well, I don't feel sorry for anybody right now," said coach Barry Trotz.

Marek Mazanec allowed four goals on 25 shots through two periods. Carter Hutton finished with eight stops in the third.

Hutton has gone 4-3-1 with a 3.39 GAA and .891 save percentage in 10 games (8 starts) this season as the Preds are currently without No. 1 netminder Pekka Rinne due to a hip injury.

Hutton is likely to get the call tonight and he made one start with the Blackhawks last season, the first of his career.

11/16 10:39:57 ET

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Schedule

Saturday, April 19Full Scoreboard
Chicago02nd Prd | Box
St. Louis2@theRink | TV: NBC, CBC, RDS
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. St. Louis leads series, 1-0.
Columbus 4/19 7:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh NBC, CBC, RDS
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Pittsburgh leads series, 1-0.
Minnesota 4/19 9:30 PM ET
Colorado NBCSN, TSN, Altitude
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Colorado leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls at Norfolk

    Tonight at 7:00 on 620am

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Tonight at 7:05 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
WAS 3
STL 4
 
Final
CLE 0
TOR 5
8th
DET 4
ANA 1
 
8th
BOS 4
BAL 2
 
6th
KAN 5
MIN 4
 
5th
CHC 3
CIN 0
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
SEA
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
CWS
8:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
8:10pm Tonight
COL
PHI
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
Final
TOR 87
BRK 94
1st
LAC 20
GSW 17
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
ATL
9:30pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
1st Intermission
STL 2
CHI 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR