Hawks defeat Predators as PP keeps rolling

 

The Hawks looked to keep rolling as they travelled to Nashville to face off against the Predators and former Hawks Carter Hutton and Viktor Stalberg.  The last time the Hawks played in the Nashville rink this season, they were thoroughly beaten 7-2, but tonight walked away with a 3-1 win.  Bryan Bickell made his return after missing roughly a month with a lower body injury, while Antti Raanta made 27 saves and Patrick Kane scored his team-leading 20th goal in the victory.

The Hawks got on the board early with a wicked shot by Duncan Keith on an unscreened Hutton.  Marian Hossa entered the zone first and hit Keith, the late trailer, to get a goal just 1:29 in the first period.

The Predators would respond under 2 minutes later off of a rocket by Shea Weber at 3:03 in the period.  With Marcus Kruger in the box for a faceoff violation,   Weber let lose a blazing slap slot off a feed by Roman Josi that went by Raanta to tie the game back up at 1.  

The first period was controlled by the Predators for the majority of the play, with Nashville registering 17 shots in the frame compared to the Hawks’ 10, but it was Chicago who would take the lead going into the first intermission.  Patrick Kane worked a give-and-go with Patrick Sharp on the Hawks first PP of the night, skating in close to Hutton before backhanding the puck over his shoulder to put the Hawks up at 16:14 gone in the first.  The power play goal came after Andrew Shaw drew a penalty on Colin Wilson, who went to the penalty box at 15:36 of the first for holding.  

 Raanta kept the game close for the Hawks, making several solid saves, most notably one halfway through the Predator’s power play

After a sluggish start to the first, Chicago came back and played much more consistently, keeping Nashville to just four shots in the second.  They would extend their lead to 3-1 off of a power play goal, making this their tenth consecutive game with at least one PP point.  The goal would go to Nick Leddy, pouncing on a rebound off of a shot by Brandon Saad and firing the puck behind Hutton to give the Hawks their third goal of the night.  The play was originally waved as a no-goal, but the call on the ice was changed after the goal was reviewed and Leddy was given credit.

Special teams were very evident throughout the game.  Although the Hawks’ PK did give up a PP goal to Weber early in the game, they killed off the remaining six penalties in the game, including a four minute double-minor by Sharp for high-sticking Nick Spaling at 14:32 in the second.  They also converted on two of their five power play chances, continuing dominance on a revitalized PP.

During the third, the Predators would pull their goalie and draw a penalty against Brent Seabrook, giving them a 6-on-4 advantage with 1:25 remaining in the game, but the Hawks would successfully close the game and improve their record to 25-7-4, retaining their first place spot in the league.

 

3 Stars:

1. Patrick Kane: 1 G, 0 A, 3 SOG, 16:39 TOI

2. Duncan Keith: 1 G, 1 A, 6 SOG, 26:40 TOI

3. Shea Weber: 1 G, 0 A, 4 SOG, 28:31 TOI

 

Quick Hits:

  • With his assist on Duncan Keith’s goal tonight, Marian Hossa tied Maurice ‘the Rocket’ Richard for 84th on the all-time regular season points list for the NHL.  Hossa, playing in his 1,050th NHL game, has 965 regular-season points in his career.
  • 3 of the Hawks prospects- Ryan Hartman, Vince Hinostroza, and Tyler Motte- played in an exhibition game against Minnesota State as they prepare to head to Sweden.  USA would win the game in OT off of a goal by Hudson Fashing, assisted by Motte.
  • The Hawks continued their power play success with their 10th consecutive game with at least one PP goal.  They’ve scored 14 PPG in their last 10 games.

The Hawks have 2 days off before they face off against the Vancouver Canucks at the United Center.  Puck drops at 7 pm.

 

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