NASHVILLE – The big news of the day before the Blackhawks took the ice at Bridgestone Arena concerned the team’s decision to put a veteran defenseman on the bench.
Brent Seabrook wasn’t very happy about it as he was a healthy scratch for the second-straight game as Jeremy Colliton choose to go without the 15-year veteran against the Predators.
Maybe he should have been active, but then again, it could have been a long night anyway against a relentless Nashville offensive attack.
Not even Robin Lehner’s best efforts – and he had a lot of them – were nearly enough to give the Blackhawks a victory on Tuesday night. Nashville put 51 shots on goal over 60 minutes and a trio go by the Chicago goaltender while none got past Pekka Rinne.
The Blackhawks could only counter with 20 shots on goal of their own as they were shutout 3-0 by their division rivals to go to 3-6-2 on the season. It’s the second time in the last three games in which they’ve been held without a goal as they were also shutout by the Hurricanes on Saturday.
Still, Lehner did all that he could to keep the Blackhawks within striking distance.
He stopped 48 shots on the evening, further making an argument that he may soon supplant Corey Crawford as the team’s No. 1 goalie. Unfortunately for him, one player on the other side had his number on this night.
Nick Bonino had a goal in the first, second, and third period as he accounted for all of Nashville’s scores on the evening. It doubled his goal total for the season and a struggling Blackhawks’ offense had no counter whatsoever. That hasn’t been a surprise for the team during a difficult six-game stretch in which they’ve lost in regulation, overtime, or a shootout, in which four of their five losses have come with the offense getting one or no goals.
It’s a shame, too, since Lehner gave what he could to keep the Predators down. But the defense, without Seabrook, couldn’t stand up under the Nashville pressure.