Blackhawks Lose Big To Predators As Keith’s Suspension Starts
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CHICAGO (AP) — Pekka Rinne made 24 saves and the Nashville Predators ended the Chicago Blackhawks’ five-game winning streak with a 6-1 victory Sunday night.
Matt Halischuk, Andrei Kostitsyn, Patric Hornqvist, Francis Bouillon, Shea Weber and Mike Fisher scored for the Predators, who matched their season high with the six goals. Viktor Stalberg had Chicago’s lone score.
The victory sends the Predators into fourth place in the Western Conference with 96 points, one ahead of Detroit and four more than the sixth-place Blackhawks. Nashville is now 4-0-1 against Chicago this season.
Nashville’s leading scorer Martin Erat, who has tied a career high with 57 points, was scratched with an upper-body injury, although he logged 19 minutes Saturday night in a win over Winnipeg.
And Chicago played its first game without suspended defenseman Duncan Keith. Keith got five games for elbowing Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin in the head in the Blackhawks’ previous game Wednesday night.
Halischuk scored from the slot at 6:16 of the first, a goal set up by some nice passing behind the net by Brandon Yip and Paul Gaustad.
Later in the period, Kositsyn’s shot from high in the left circle sailed over Corey Crawford’s blocker and into the net, giving the Preds a 2-0 lead.
Rinne had 11 first-period saves, three early in the game, and helped turn away two Blackhawks power plays to set the tone.
Hornqvist was credited with a deflection goal on the power play when Weber’s hard shot from the high slot broke the stick of Chicago’s Marian Hossa, went off Alexander Radulov’s skate and trickled past Crawford for a 3-0 lead in the second. The goal was upheld by video replay.
And after Bouillon’s long wrister from way out on the left boards eluded a screened Crawford two minutes into the final period to make it 4-0, Crawford was pulled in favor of Ray Emery. Crawford gave up four goals on just 15 shots.
Four minutes later, right after a Chicago power play ended, Stalberg scored from the left circle, ending Rinne’s shutout bid. But 36 seconds later, immediately after a faceoff, Weber rifled in a shot past Emery to restore Nashville’s four-goal lead. Fisher scored with 2:27 left.
Notes: Former Blackhawks G Ed Belfour was honored by the team. He spent parts of eight seasons with Chicago during a 20-year NHL career and had a Blackhawks’ franchise-record 43 wins in 1990-91, his first full NHL season. His play helped the Blackhawks make the Stanley Cup finals in 1992. He also played for San Jose, Dallas, Toronto and Florida and was inducted into the Hall of Fame last November. He finished with a 484-320-125 record. … The Preds’ Jordin Tootoo, who was involved in a fight with Chicago’s Brandon Bolllig early in the game, didn’t return after the altercation in which he was knocked to the ice. He was said to have an upper-body injury … Chicago captain Jonathan Toews missed his 16th straight game with a concussion.