Hawks Get Payback Against Preds

The Chicago Blackhawks felt that turnabout was fair play.

Saturday night, the Predators came from behind to win 3-2 in a shootout in Nashville. On Sunday, the Hawks scored four goals in a row in the last 11 minutes to forge a 6-3 comeback victory over the Preds in Chicago.

The Predators were playing with five defensemen for most of the game and Chicago simply overpowered the Predators in the final period out shooting them 18-5 and completely wore the Preds down firing shots from everywhere.

Chicago got two goals each from Troy Brouwer and Dave Bolland, while Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell each added a tally of their own. The Predators got two goals from J.P. Dumont, while Martin Erat scored the other goal.

Both teams came out with different netminders from Saturday’s game. Marty Turco got the win, stopping 20 of 23 Predator shots. Anders Lindback may have had the worst game of his NHL career, giving up six goals on 34 Chicago shots.

Injuries continued to mount for the Predators when Francis Bouillon was boarded by Brouwer just 7:30 into the contest. The injury was considered “lower body” and he was unable to return to the game cause the defense to play with five men for the majority of the contest. Ryan Suter logged 32:43 minutes while Shea Weber had 29:40.

The Predators started the game with the same intensity as they finished last night’s game.  Toews was called for holding 16 seconds into the game. At 2:04 Cody Franson fired a shot from near the blue line and Turco bobbled the puck which allowed Erat to get a power play goal into an empty net to put the Preds up 1-0 early in the contest.

The Blackhawks came back to tie the game at 6:38 in when the Predators had trouble getting the puck out of their zone and Bickell drew Lindback to his right with a shot and Bolland grabbed the puck and put it in the net behind Lindback.

The Predators came back with another power play goal at 14:15 when Weber fired a bomb from the blue line that was partially stopped by Brian Campbell. Dumont picked up the loose puck and put it past Turco to give the Preds a 2-1 lead. The man advantage was a result of Duncan Keith holding Joel Ward at 13:35.

The first period ended with the Preds out shooting the Blackhawks, 8-6, with half of Nashville’s shots coming on the power play.

The Predators continued to play well in the second period but were unable to convert on several chances early. It came back to haunt them at 11:58 when David Legwand threw a lazy cross ice pass that was intercepted by Tomas Kopecky who passed to Bolland who skated through Suter and put the puck past Lindback to tie the game, 2-2.

Shots were tied at ten apiece for the second period. The loss was of Bouillon was causing some huge minutes with Suter having 23:16 and Weber having 20:31 through two periods.

The Preds took a 3-2 lead at 3:45 in the third on shot off of the faceoff by Dumont. Chris Mueller won the draw and Dumont surprised Turco by blowing it directly into the net.

At 8:38, Suter was called for holding Patrick Sharp. On the ensuing man advantage, Keith ripped a shot from the blue line that Lindback could not grab and Brouwer flipped it into the net to retie the game at three at 9:19. Forty seconds later Brouwer scored again to put the Hawks ahead for the first time in the contest. Toews did a good job of screening Lindback and Brouwer simply skated across the crease and sent the puck directly into the net.

The Predators tried to regroup but before the could they allowed Bicknell skate into the slot unencumbered where he took a pass from Campbell from behind the net and put it past Lindback to make it, 5-3.

The icing on the cake for the Hawks was Toews’ 100th career goal at 16:25 that was unassisted. Chicago’s sixth goal was the season high against the Predators this season.

With the win, both teams now have 54 points but the Predators have played two less games so they hang on to fifth place in the tough Western Conference race.

The Predators left after the game and headed to the desert where they will play the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday at the Jobbing.com arena at 8 p.m. Central.

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