The Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks lock horns tonight in Game 1 of their 1st round series. The Predators will be looking to steal at least one game in Chicago, but it could be a tall order. There is a good chance that both Calle Jarnkrok and Colin Wilson will not play tonight. Jarnkrok was out for the morning skate, but Wilson was not. If they don’t go, this could be the Predators forward lines for tonight’s game:

As for the Blackhawks, this looks to be their starting lineup for tonight:

Here are the 3 keys to tonight’s matchup:

#1 – Control Patrick Kane. I know this is easier said than done. Kane has 3 goals and 6 assists in the 5 games against Nashville this year. Taking Kane out of tonight’s game is paramount for a Preds win. The only game they won this year against Chicago, was the only game that Kane did not register a point.

#2 – The JOFA line must be the Predators best line tonight. This is the time of year that your stars must be stars. With Wilson and Jarnkrok most likely out, the Preds need this line to be the best line on the ice tonight to win.

#3 – Pekka Rinne. The Predators are talented enough to steal a game in Chicago. However, it will take Pekka being at his best. Rinne was strong down the closing stretch of the season and he must continue this play tonight. A stellar effort from Pekka tonight could also set the tone for the rest of this series.

Tonight’s game is a 7 pm CT start. It can be seen locally on Fox Sports Tennessee and nationally on NBCSN.

Follow me on Twitter at danieljones@dj_puckplanet

Daniel Jones

My name is Daniel Jones, I am from the Washington D.C. area originally, but have lived in Nashville, Tn since 1983. I grew up a fan of the Washington Capitals and I am still partial to them. However, I became a day 1 season ticket holder with the Nashville Predators when they arrived. My wife and I have been hardcore Preds fans ever since. Being asked to cover to the Preds for Puck Planet is both a dream and an honor. I hope to do both the website and Predator fans proud.

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