The Nashville Predators looked down and out after the second period in Chicago on Monday night. The Blackhawks had completely dominated the game to that point, and Pekka Rinne was the only reason the Predators were still hanging around. Nashville took advantage of that, and came back to tie the game in the third period to salvage a much needed point on the road.
Chicago defeated the Predators 3-2 by way of a shootout on Monday night to keep Nashville winless in their last six road games. The Predators have only won two of their last 14 road games. However, they were very fortunate to be able to fight back and get a point against the best team in the Western Conference.
The Blackhawks absolutely took it to the Predators in the first two periods of the game. Nashville was having a hard time just gaining possession of the puck. At the end of the second period, the Blackhawks had out-shot the Predators by a 27-11 margin and seemed to be well on their way to an easy victory with a 2-0 lead.
Nashville came out flying in the third period and benefited from two unconventional goals. David Legwand poke checked the puck away from Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford and into the net to bring the Predators within one, and Taylor Beck scored the second goal of the game without really getting a good shot away to tie the game for the Predators.
Chicago got the better of the Predators in the shootout. Jonathan Toews and Michal Rozsival scored for the Blackhawks in the shootout, while Craig Smith got the lone shootout goal for the Predators. All in all, the Predators should feel very fortunate and encouraged to get a point. They still have a long way to go for a playoff push, but that point could prove to be critical.
Five things from Monday night’s game…
- Gabriel Bourque, Nashville’s leading goal scorer, left the game with an upper-body injury and did not return. It looked like he may have taken an elbow to the head from Daniel Carcillo.
- Jonathan Toews had a incredible seven takeaways in the game. He’s simply one of the best two-way players in the game.
- Craig Smith scored another goal in the shootout. He’s become a real asset for the Predators in the shootout. He seems to have about two or three different moves in his arsenal that work.
- Pekka Rinne made a huge pad save off of a one-timer by Andrew Shaw in the second period from point-blank range. Rinne’s effort in the second period was the main reason Nashville was able to escape Chicago with a point.
- Shootouts have been a big problem for the Predators this season. They have gone 2-6 in the shootout this season, leaving six extremely valuable points on the table.
Three stars of Monday night’s game…
1. Jonathon Toews, CHI… Toews had seven takeaways, won 77 percent of his faceoffs, recorded an assist and scored in the shootout for the Blackhawks.
2. Pekka Rinne, NSH… Rinne was the main reason that the Predators were able to get a point in Chicago. His 17 saves in the second period were critical.
3. Patrick Kane, CHI… Kane scored Chicago’s second goal and was a dangerous player all night long.
Audio from 102.5 The Game…