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2017 NHL playoffs: History suggests Blackhawks win Stanley Cup if they beat Predators in 1st round

Predators will need Subban to be difference-maker

P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators celebrates his first regular season goal as a newly acquired Predator against the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena on October 14, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Sanford Myers/Getty Images)
P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators celebrates his first regular season goal as a newly acquired Predator against the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena on October 14, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Sanford Myers/Getty Images)

The Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators will meet for what is sure to be an intense first round playoff series between division rivals. 

This is the third time since 2010 the teams have met in the playoffs, each time in the first round. Chicago won the series 4-2 in 2010 and again in 2015 before going on to win the Stanley Cup both years. 

This season the Predators went 1-4 against the Blackhawks, which doesn't bode well for their chances in this playoff series. In 2010, the Preds went 2-4 against the Hawks and in 2015 they went 1-1-0-2. 

History is not on Nashville's side, so it's a good thing it doesn't matter. It's all mental.

This isn't the same Nashville team. Defenseman P.K. Subban was added in the offseason just for this reason -- to help Nashville become a more dynamic team for the playoffs. After a season marred by an injury, Subban is back in shape and as effective as ever. 

If the Predators want to pull off this first-round upset they will need Subban to be one of the best players on the ice each night. He has 38 points, 17 of which came on the power play, in 55 career playoff games. 

VIEW: Stanley Cup Playoffs first round matchups, TV schedule


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