A goalie controversy could be brewing in Chicago, while Nashville will have to make due without Shea Weber after the Preds beat up on the Blackhawks 6-2 on Friday.
The Nashville Predators won’t be celebrating too loudly following their 6-2 win over Chicago.
Weber went down with an apparent ankle injury in the second period after taking a hit from Brandon Saad, whose skate appeared to clip Weber’s ankle. Weber left the game immediately and did not return.
The Predators seemed to rally around their fallen captain, potting a goal to go up 3-2 after the second and then firing in three more in the third to salt away the win.
Colin Wilson had the game’s first goal with his third of the playoffs, while Roman Josi flashed his incredible skill in netting the second Predators goal, a beautiful one-man run up the ice that ended with a nifty seeing-eye shot through Corey Crawford.
Josi picked up a lot of the slack after Weber went down, leading all players in the game with 24:31 of ice time. Mattias Ekholm played 23:17, while Seth Jones and Ryan Ellis also played more than 20 minutes.
The Predators will have to lean on their blueline depth to cover up the loss of Weber, whose steady minutes and shot on the power play will be tough to replace.
And speaking of replacement, the Blackhawks are going to have some hard questions to answer heading into Game 3.
Corey Crawford has now allowed nine goals in four periods of hockey, posting a dismal .809 save percentage and 6.75 goals-against average. The Hawks only salvaged a win in Game 1 after replacing Crawford with backup Scott Darling, who was perfect in stopping 42 shots last game.
Crawford stayed in the net for the whole debacle on Friday, allowing six goals on 35 shots.
The Hawks have had more success with Darling than Crawford in this young post-season, so don’t be surprised if they turn to him for Game 3.
Darling posted nine wins, one shutout, a .936 save percentage and 1.94 goals-against average in 14 appearances with the Blackhawks this year, so he’s no slouch to take over.
At the rate teams are changing their goalies, we could see a lot of backups get time before this round is over.