Blackhawks get shut out in second straight playoff game

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CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 15: Viktor Arvidsson #38 of the Nashville Predators hugs Pekka Rinne #35 (L) as other members of the Predators wait to congratulate Rinne after a shutout win against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game Two of the Western Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 15, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Predators defeated the Blackhawks 5-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

by Scott King

The supposed home ice advantage hasn’t tilted in the Blackhawks’ favor yet. The team lost Game 1 1-0 on Thursday and again fell to the hand of the pesky Predators 5-0 on Saturday night.

The Hawks haven’t been shut out in two straight playoff games since 2002 vs. the Blues. So far, the better team on paper has had far from a killer instinct this postseason.

“That was frustration to a different level,” said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville of Saturday’s loss. “That wasn’t fun to watch. You can look at it, we dug ourselves a tremendous hole across the board.

“Not too many positives come out of tonight’s game. Everybody was responsible, from the coaches down to every single player. We got to get out of this mess and hole. We can play much better than that in all areas and all aspects. I think we’re a better hockey team than we showed tonight.”

The Blackhawks managed to outshoot the Predators for the second straight game, but the majority of the scoring chances are far from quality.

“There’s still a lot we can do as far as getting in front of Rinne’s eyes and not letting him see pucks,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “We’re getting a lot of shots from the outside, but it doesn’t seem like there’s enough traffic or second efforts. Everything seems to be getting cleaned up and we got to make a better effort to get inside and get in that blue paint and try to score those ugly goals, as they say.”

The silver lining for Monday and Thursday’s games in Nashville is that the Hawks had an impressive record on the road this season (24-13-4).

Maybe a change of scenery is what Chicago needs to garner some confidence and put their best skate forward.

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