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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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Scoreboard
Local
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
CHI 84
MIA 96
Final
CLE 108
OKC 98
Final
NOP 109
DAL 106
Final
ORL 99
IND 106
Final
PHO 100
LAC 120
Final
ATL 112
MIN 100
Final
TOR 114
DET 110
 
Final
SAN 101
MIL 95
3rd
GSW 82
BOS 73
 
3rd
DEN 84
WAS 83
 
1st
LAL 4
HOU 7
 
Final
UCONN 66
SFLA 53
Final
GT 62
BC 64
Final
VT 47
UVA 50
Final
OSU 82
IND 70
Final
UCF 46
CIN 56
Final
WICHS 74
DRAK 40
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
MAR 73
FAIR 67
 
Final
HART 61
MAINE 70
 
Final
MAN 71
MON 64
 
Final
PRIN 96
ROWAN 48
 
Final
SIENA 55
PETE 69
 
Final
RIU 53
BONA 48
Final
BING 54
USB 61
 
Final
MLOWELL 50
VERM 61
 
Final
BUT 77
SHU 57
Final
SALA 55
YALE 72
 
Final
PITT 68
LOU 80
Final
ILLST 53
NIOWA 54
Final
GTDNS 69
UMBC 55
 
Final
IONA 87
NIAG 64
 
Final
TENST 55
BEL 63
 
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
VILL 71
CREI 50
Final
MD 68
NW 67
 
2nd
UTAH 51
WASH 38
 
Final
TEAMFOLI 12
TEAMTOEWS 17
Half
CARTER 20
IRVIN 19