CHICAGO -- Choose your adjective or phrase: deja vu, instant replay, rerun, or hockey's version of the movie Groundhog Day.
Any way you describe it, the Nashville Predators played virtually the same type of game on Sunday that they did the last time they met the Chicago Blackhawks, just nine days ago and also at the United Center, and with the same outcome.
Center Mike Fisher and left winger Gabriel Borque scored goals to lead the Predators to a 2-0 win over the Blackhawks this time.
And while the score was slightly different than the Preds' 3-2 win on March 14, Nashville's effort, play, determination and the outcome were all the same.
As a result, Nashville (31-31-10, 72 points) was able to cling to hope that it still might make the playoffs, even though the Predators are currently 12th in the Western Conference with 10 games remaining in the regular season.
And as good as the Predators felt after beating the Blackhawks for the third time in four meetings this season, there was also bad news: star defenseman Seth Jones left the game at the end of the first period and did not return.
The team announced that he had suffered an upper-body injury, but there is no word yet on how severe and if he may potentially miss any upcoming games.
For whatever reason, the Blackhawks (41-16-15, 97 points) have had trouble with the Predators this season -- probably more trouble than they should when you consider Nashville is last in the Central Division and had lost six of its previous 10 games prior to Sunday's meeting.
Still, the facts are the facts and the final outcome is what it is.
Just like the last meeting nine days ago, the Predators jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
Fisher connected on his 18th goal of the season at 18:38 of the first period.
Nashville went ahead 2-0 on Chicago at 17:35 on Borque's seventh goal of the season.
Although Chicago outshot Nashville 20-11 through the first two periods, Nashville played an inspired game, almost as if it was still fighting for a playoff spot, a possibility that is dim at best.
Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne stopped all 29 of Chicago's shots, while losing Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford stopped 15 of Nashville's 17 shots.
NOTES: There has been little word out of Chicago's camp since Friday's announcement that RW Patrick Kane will be out for at least the remainder of the regular season. The team is hopeful that Kane, who was placed on the Long Term Injured list, will be able to return for the first round of the playoffs, but that's an optimistic view at best, considering he has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee and is on crutches. ... Chicago hosts Dallas on Tuesday before a three-game road trip to Boston (March 27), Ottawa (March 28) and Pittsburgh (March 30). The Blackhawks return to the United Center to host the Minnesota Wild on April 3. ... Chicago came into the game leading the all-time series between the two teams (45-32-4-8). ... What a difference a year makes: Even in last year's lockout-shortened season, the Blackhawks still managed to win all five meetings with the Predators. ... Chicago came into the game still leading the NHL in goals per game (3.31) and total goals (235). ... After scoring a goal and two assists Friday and becoming the sixth draftee in team history to surpass 200 points in his NHL career, Predators RW Patrick Hornqvist was given the night off. Other scratches were D Michael Del Zotto, RW Patrick Eaves and C Paul Gaustad. Chicago listed five scratches: D David Rundblad, D Michal Rozsival, and LWs Matt Carey, Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen. ... Attendance was 21,727.