Saturday, March 31, 2012

Predators comeback falls short, Hawks win 5-4

The Nashville Predators came back from a 4-0 deficit with four unanswered goals to tie the game 4-4in the final period but lost 5-4 when Brent Seabrook scored a third period game-winning goal to give the Chicago Blackhawks a much needed road win on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena.

The win was sweet revenge for a Chicago team that lost to the Preds 6-1 last Sunday at the United Center and had only won one game against the Predators during the season.

Patrick Sharp, Dave Bolland, Patrick Kane, Vicktor Stalberg, and Seabrook all scored single markers for the Blackhawks. Andrew Shaw had two assists on the evening.

Nashville got two goals from Captain Shea Weber and single goals from Marty Erat and Alexander Radulov as well as three assists from Ryan Suter and two from David Legwand during the contest.

Pekka Rinne stopped 32 of 37 shots in a game that was far better than the stats showed. Corey Crawford was the big winner, stoppping 29 of 33 predator shots.

Chicago moved within a point of the Predators in the standings, tying Detroit at 97 points as it remained a tight battle for the fourth seed and the runner-up slot in the Central Division.

The Preds will face Minnesota on Tuesday at the Bridgestone Arena before hosting Dallas on Thursday and finishing the season in Denver against Colorado next Saturday.

At The Puck Drop...

In Goal:  Pekka Rinne (42-17-8, 2.40, .923 - 4-0-1, 2.19, .921 vs Chicago) vs. Corey Crawford (28-17-6, 2.75, .902 - 1-3-0, 4.21, .824 vs Nashville).

Scratches: Predators - Brandon Yip, Craig Smith, Bryan McGrattan, Colin Wilson, Jack Hillen,Ryan Ellis, and Jack MacLellan. Blackhawks - Daniel Carcillo, Duncan Keith, Steve Montador, Brendan Morrison, Jonathan Toews, Sami Lepisto, and Michael Frolik.

First Period...

Rinne made an incredible sliding pad save on a point blank shot at 1:23 to keep the Hawks from taking an early lead.

Matt Halischuk was called for high-sticking Bryan Bickell at 1:38. Chicago put plenty of pressure on the Preds and broke through on their third power play shot that went off of Hal Gill's shin guard at 3:25. Patrick Sharp was credited with the goal and Nick Leddy and Andrew Shaw received assists.

At 10:27, after a great scoring chance, Crawford tried to take Patric Hornqvist's head off and a scuffel ensued. Paul Gaustad was given a roughing penalty. Chicago had three shots but did not score.

With a minute left, the Preds had an all out scrum in front of the Chicago net but could not force the puck into the net. Chicago called a timeout to regroup after the series of shots.

With 11.1 seconds left, David Legwand was called for hooking Leddy.

1st Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Blackhawks         1        12        20       0-0:00 12-11 52%
Predators           0        16        19       3-6:00 11-12 48%

Second Period...

On the carry over penalty, Chicago made it 2-0 quickly when Patrick Kane sent the puck to Marian Hossa who sent it cross ice to Bolland who put it past Rinne for the second power play goal of the game.

A scrum developed at 4:36 when Sean O'Donnell was called for holding Tootoo. The Preds did not get off a shot on their man-advantage.

After the power play expired, Kane scored on a breakaway wrister to give Chicago a 3-0 lead. Hjalmarsson and Seabrook assisted on the goal.

The Hawks made it 4-0 when Stalberg scored at 8:35 to seemingly put the Hawks out of reach in the contest.

Bolland was called for interference on Hornqvist at 9:21 to put the Preds on the man-advantage. Hornqvist did a great job of screening Crawford which allowed Erat to score the Preds first goal at 9:29.

Forty nine seconds later Weber took a snap shot on a pass from Suter to cut the lead to 4-2 at 10:18.

Erat was then called for slashing at 13:13 to put the Hawks back on the man-advantage. The Preds' defense tightened and did not allow a goal. At 16:46, Gabriel Bourque was called for tripping Johnny Oduya. The best shot on the Chicago power play was Nick Spalings' short-handed breakaway at 17:38.

Chicago was called for too many men on the ice with 32.1 left in the period. The Preds applied good pressure with two shots but could not score.

2nd Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Blackhawks         3        6        12       2-4:00 6-16  27%
Predators          1        9        14       2-4:00 16-6  73%

Third Period...

The best chance on the Predators power play carry-over was by Hossa short-handed at 0:34.

The Preds cut the lead to 4-3 when Radulov drove past two Chicago defenders at 4:48 and put the puck past Crawford in an unbelievable single man effort.

Bolland was called for boarding Erat at 6:10 to give Nashville another man-advantage. At 7:10, Weber scored his second goal of the game to tie a contest left for dead at 4-3.

Fifty-nine seconds later, Seabrook scored to bring the game to the final score of 5-4.

The Predators had numerous scoring chances down the stretch but could not convert the game-tying goal.

3rd  Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Blackhawks         1        15        18       1-2:00 3-14  18%
Predators         2        12        18       1-2:00 14-3  82%


Final     Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Blackhawks          5        37        50     4 -8:00 20-42  32%
Predators            4        33        51     6-12:00 42-20  68%

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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