Blackhawks sweep season series vs Predators

photo by Cheryl Adams / HockeyBroadFriday night's game was not the Blackhawks' best - they coughed up 4 goals against the offensively-challenged Nashville (29th in league - average 2.27 goals/game). Chicago is on their way to their first Presidents' Trophy since 1991, and the Predators have already been eliminated.

Five of Chicago's games have come against the Predators this season, and the Blackhawks swept the Nashville series, including two shutouts against them.

At the end of the night, it was a familiar scenario: Marian Hossa putting in the overtime winner to give the Blackhawks a 5-4 win, making long-time fans remember a certain first-round game vs the Preds back in 2010.

Perhaps the most important note of the night for the Blackhawks was that they scored not just one, but two power-play goals, after not having a PPG since March 29th. Duncan Keith opened the game's scoring for the Blackhawks with a goal at 4:48 into the first, while Shea Weber sat for hooking. It didn't take Nashville to tie up the score at 1-1 with a Matt Halischuk goal just under two minutes later.

The Predators would briefly take the lead off a Kevin Henderson goal, but Chicago rookie Brandon Saad would tie things up 2-2 before the first period expired.

Patrick Kane got his 21st of the season almost halfway through the second, and then Halischuk would get his 2nd of the night a few minutes later to make it 3-3.

Just over midway through the third, Michal Handzus gave the Blackhawks the lead again; but once again, the Predators would tie it up on Bobby Butler's goal.

Rich Clune gift-wrapped the game to the Blackhawks when he took a high stick/double minor penalty with 45 seconds left in the third. While Chicago was not able to close out the deal in regulation, it took less than a minute for Marian Hossa to take a pass from Patrick Kane and close out the game.


Final score: Blackhawks 5, Nashville 4

CHI goals: Keith (PPG), Saad, Kane, Handzus, Hossa (PPG)
NSH goals: Halischuk (2), Henderson, Butler

Three stars:
1) Duncan Keith (CHI) - 1 goal, 2 assists, 4 SOG, 3 AB/MS, 1 hit, 2 blocks
2) Matt Halischuk (NSH) - 2 goals, 1 assist, +3, 4 SOG, 1 MS, 4 hits, 2 blocks
3) Jonathan Toews (CHI) - 2 assists, +2, 2 SOG, 2 MS, 1 hit, 2 takeaways, 61% FOW

Winning goalie: Corey Crawford - 4 GA / .852 sv%
Losing goalie: Pekka Rinne - 5 GA / .833 sv%

Next game: Saturday, April 20 at 7:30pm vs the Phoenix Coyotes - broadcast on WGN Chicago; radio 97.9 Chicago, as well as Fox Sports AZ; Xtra Sports 910 Arizona; "Monuments to Excellence" DVD giveaway;

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