Obviously, it doesn't always prove to be true, but through the first three games of the Chicago-Nashville series, the tight defense of the Predators has managed to get the best of the regular season offensive juggernaut that was the Blackhawks. After lighting the lamp just once on Tuesday night (a Tomas Kopecky goal) in a 4-1 loss, Chicago has managed to score just four times -- and only twice at even strength -- in this series that it now trails, 2-1.
This after it finished the regular season as the third highest scoring team in the league with 271 goals. Outside of Patrick Kane's two tallies, Chicago's big guns (Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews, Kris Versteeg and Patrick Sharp) have been completely shut down.
Honestly, we probably shouldn't be all that surprised by this development.
If you include the six regular season games between the two Central Division rivals, Nashville has limited to Chicago to just 19 goals in nine games, or just a little over two per-game. That, of course, is quite a drop from the 3.4 they averaged against the 28 other teams they played this season.
Of course, it should also be pointed out that while Nashville has an 8-4 edge in the goal-scoring department, it's not as if the Predators are taking advantage of Niemi and running away with it. The Blackhawks, after all, have held them to just five goals that weren't scored on an empty net (two in Game 1) or a penalty shot (Erat on Tuesday). It's been the type of tight series that looks like it's destined to go six or seven games, and given the way it's played out in the early going, Nashville has to be feeling good about its chances at an upset as the series appears to be playing right into its hands.