Confident Blackhawks intent to solve Rinne, Predators

CHICAGO -- Despite a series-opening loss, the Chicago Blackhawks feel plenty of confidence heading into Saturday night's showdown with the visiting Nashville Predators in Game 2 of the Western Conference first-round series.

After all, the Blackhawks have overcome playoff series deficits far greater than 1-0 on their way to winning three Stanley Cup championships since 2010.

"We knew it was going to be a long series," Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane told the Chicago Sun-Times. "They're a good team. Give them credit (for winning Game 1).

"I'm sure the building will be rocking Saturday night. It will be fun."

The underdog Predators agree.

A victory Saturday would give Nashville a decisive advantage with the series returning to Music City for Games 3 and 4. A loss by the Predators would even the series and set up a best-of-five situation with Chicago.

For the Predators to earn another road win, goaltender Pekka Rinne likely will have to be at his best. That was the case in Game 1 as Rinne stopped all 29 shots he faced to blank the Blackhawks.

"Now, the series is on," Rinne told The Tennessean after his series-opening shutout. "... We should feel comfortable and confident right now. I'm really excited for Game 2. I think everybody else is, as well."

The Blackhawks practiced between games Friday to try to regain their edge. Chicago coach Joel Quenneville tinkered with his lines, replacing rookie forward John Hayden with Dennis Rasmussen.

Quenneville said he wanted to see more traffic in front of the net in Game 2 to make Rinne's job difficult. Center Artem Anisimov filled that role for much of the season as his linemates, Kane and Artemi Panarin, blasted shots from the wings.

"We've got to be better across the board," Quenneville said. "We need everybody going.

"There's got to be more desperation. We have to have more desperation around the net and that willingness to get through and fight through it and pay the price (with) whatever's there. ... Fighting for your ice and space is going to be paramount. The ones that are willing to get there are going to get rewarded."

Nashville also is looking for more offense after managing only one goal on 20 shots in the series opener. After Viktor Arvidsson scored in the first period, the Predators largely sat back and played defense.

The Predators escaped with a 1-0 win but know they need to be more aggressive in Game 2.

"I think we've got to do a better job as the series goes on," defenseman Roman Josi told The Tennessean. "You can't just defend that team. They're going to make you pay somehow."

Rinne heads into Saturday's game with a 23-26 career record in the postseason. In those contests, he has a 2.47 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage.

Goaltender Corey Crawford will remain in net for the Blackhawks after turning aside 19 shots in Game 1. Crawford boasts a 48-34 career playoff record with a 2.25 GAA and .920 save percentage.
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