CHICAGO (AP) — Pekka Rinne made 43 saves and Nashville killed off six power plays, helping the Predators edge the Chicago Blackhawks, 2-1, on Friday night.
Calle Jarnkrok and Craig Smith scored in the second period for the Predators, who were coming off consecutive losses to Calgary and the New York Rangers. Nashville also lost 2-1 to Chicago in overtime in their first meeting of the season on Oct. 14.
Corey Crawford had 28 stops for Chicago, but the Blackhawks lost for the fourth time in five games. Coach Joel Quenneville tweaked his lines in search of more offense and Chicago generated plenty of opportunities, but couldn’t finish with Rinne on top of his game in net.
Artem Anisimov scored in the first for the Blackhawks. John Hayden had a good look at a potential tying goal with 4:15 remaining, but Rinne was there.
Nashville was outplayed for most of the first period, but rebounded nicely in the second. Jarnkrok picked off a bad pass by Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith and beat Crawford from the slot 57 seconds into the period, tying it at 1 with his first goal of the season.
The Predators grabbed the lead on Smith’s power-play goal at 11:02. With Jan Rutta in the box for tripping, Smith sent a wrist shot past Crawford on the goaltender’s stick side for his second of the season.
The Blackhawks had three power plays of their own in the second, and the Predators killed off each one. They were outshot 13-8 in the period despite all that time with the man advantage.
Chicago got two of its best scoring opportunities with Nashville on the power play. Brandon Saad was denied on a short-handed breakaway about eight minutes into the game. Rinne turned away Nick Schmaltz on another breakaway late in the first, but Anisimov followed the play and knocked it in for his second of the season.
Blackhawks forward Lance Bouma skated off gingerly after he blocked P.K. Subban’s shot early in the third, but returned to the game. … Nashville swept Chicago in the first round of the playoffs last season. … The Blackhawks had 21 shots in the first, matching their season high for any period. … Saad celebrated his 25th birthday.
Blackhawks: Visit the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.
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