Reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, have won their 12th straight game last night, as they demolished a flailing Nashville Predators side last night. The 12th consecutive win eclipses their former franchise record of 11 wins in a row – set in the 2012-13 season.
At the other end of the ice, the Predators have now fallen to sixth in the Central Division after winning just two of their last ten games.
Can the Blackhawks increase their new record?
A team record of 12 back-to-back wins is outstanding but, if they can overcome their next opponent, they should be favoured to reach 15 wins by the end of the week.
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Next up for Chicago is the insurgent Tampa Bay Lightning – who also got a win last night. Tampa Bay’s 6-4 win over Edmonton yesterday has put them on a six-game win streak – coming into Thursday night’s game against Chicago, at the Amalie Arena.
Over the last six games, the Lightning have greatly outscored their opponents by a combined total of 24-13, averaging four goals scored per game. However, during their current streak, the Blackhawks have only conceded more than twice, on just three occasions – with two of those three coming in the first couple games of the 12 wins.
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On to a tired game against the Panthers
If they can defeat Tampa Bay, and move up to 13 wins, then they’ll face a well rested, but slumping, Florida Panthers. The Sunrise residents haven’t won since their own franchise breaking win streak ended four games ago – but will have three days rest prior to hosting Chicago.
According to ESPN, Florida isn't that great at scoring after having a long rest. With three or more days rest, the Panthers rank 19th for average goals scored per game, 2.20 GF/G. But they only concede 1.60 goals per game after a long rest – which ranks them fourth on GA/G with three or more days rest.
Chicago plays Florida the day after their contest with Tampa Bay. Luckily for Chicago fans, ESPN records them as being decent performers, even when tired. They stand 11th with their 2.50 average goals against per tired game, and fourth with their average of 3.10 goals per tired game.
Back home to host the Blues
After the Florida trip, they come home to the United Center to face an inconsistent St. Louis Blues – who are 4-3-3 in their last ten games. Star Blues skater, Vladimir Tarasenko, has only scored one goal in his last six games – and only three in their last ten contests.
St. Louis are in a bit of a slump right now, but overall they are still one of the Central Division’s top performing teams. Their home record is one of the league’s best at 16-8-3; and their away record isn’t too bad either, 11-7-4, but it’s clear that they favour a game in St. Louis – only one of their four wins, in their last ten games, has come on their travels.
The two teams currently split the season series 1-1, with both teams winning their away legs.
It seems that the Blackhawks have a decent chance of pushing their new founded record up to 15 wins by the end of the week.
Patrick Kane’s still unstoppable!
Patrick Kane started the season with a 26 game point streak, and he hasn’t stopped getting his name on the score sheet yet. He’s still blitzing the league leaders columns with his 30 goals, 41 assists and 71 points.
He has two more goals than Washington’s Alex Ovechkin; three more assists than Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and; he’s 15 points up on Dallas’ Jamie Benn.
After just 49 games of the season, Kane has already tied his career record of 30 goals – which he set in the 82 games of the 2009-10.
Here's the goal that put him on 30 for the season.
Slumping Nashville down to goalie issues
The Preds have fallen to sixth in the Central Division after going 2-6-2 in their last 10 games – and 1-7-0 in their last eight. The only win in the last eight contest came when star keeper Pekka Rinne was not in net.
Carter Hutton took to the crease against Minnesota, and the backup keeper kept a shutout, with Nashville winning 3-0.
Pekka Rinne, who was a huge part of the Predators making the playoffs, has been really poor recently. He’s conceded 18 goals in his last five games – posting a weak save percentage of 0.843%.
If Nashville wants to recover from their slump, they’ll need Rinne to recover his form of last season.