<
>

W2W4: Predators at Blackhawks (Game 4)

CHICAGO -- Here is what to watch for when the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators play in Game 4 of their Western Conference first-round series at the United Center on Tuesday:

• The Blackhawks lead the series 2-1 and hold home-ice advantage. The Blackhawks won Games 1 and 3. They scored three goals in the second period to lift them to victory in Game 3. The Blackhawks have outscored the Predators 7-2 in the series' second periods, and the Predators have outscored the Blackhawks 6-2 in the first periods.

• The Predators will be without defenseman Shea Weber for a second consecutive game because of a lower-body injury. The Predators’ top defenseman pairing of Roman Josi and Seth Jones were each a minus-3 in Game 3.

• Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling will start a second consecutive game. He made 35 saves on 37 shots in Game 3. He has stopped 77-of-79 shots in the series.

• Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews has a team-high five points, including two goals and three assists, in the series. His line, which includes Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad, contributed to all four of the Blackhawks’ goals in Game 3.

• Predators forward Craig Smith has a team-high five points, including two goals and three assists, in the series. Predators forward Colin Wilson has a series-high three goals.

• The Blackhawks are expected to remain with the same lineup as Game 3. Their lines are expected to be Saad – Toews – Hossa, Kris VersteegBrad RichardsPatrick Kane, Bryan BickellAntoine VermettePatrick Sharp, Andrew Desjardins – Marcus Kruger – Andrew Shaw.

Their defenseman pairings are expected to be Duncan KeithMichal Rozsival, Johnny OduyaNiklas Hjalmarsson, Kimmo TimonenBrent Seabrook.

• The Predators’ lines are expected to be Filip ForsbergMike Ribeiro – Smith, Colin Wilson – Matt CullenJames Neal, Mike SantorelliCalle JarnkrokViktor Stalberg and Gabriel BourquePaul GaustadTaylor Beck.

The defenseman pairings are expected to be Josi - Jones, Mattias EkholmRyan Ellis, Victor Bartley - Cody Franson.

• Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne will start his fourth consecutive game of the series. He has a 2.91 goals-against average and .898 save percentage after three games.