NHL Game Summary - Chicago at Nashville
(Tuesday, October 25th)
Final Score: Nashville 5, Chicago 3
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Scott Hartnell picked up three assists as the Nashville Predators defeated the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-3, at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.
With the win, Nashville remains the lone unbeaten club in the NHL. The Ottawa Senators were undefeated until losing, 3-2, to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night.
The Predators improved their franchise record best start to 8-0. That also ties the second-best start to a season with the 1934-35 Toronto Maple Leafs and 1975-76 Buffalo Sabres. The longest winning streak to start a season was 10 games, set by the 1993-94 Maple Leafs.
Tomas Vokoun made 38 saves in the Predators victory. David Legwand and Paul Kariya scored a goal and an assist each and Steve Sullivan potted a short- handed goal.
Nikolai Khabibulin made 17 saves and allowed five goals in the Chicago loss. Defenseman Jim Vandermeer picked up a goal and an assist and Jim Dowd scored his first goal of the season.
Chicago was also a dismal 1-for-13 on the power play.
Nashville jumped out to a great start, scoring three goals in the first period. Chicago would get close in the second period scoring two goals, but Nashville scored late in the second period and early in the third to continue its dominance.
Nashville opened the scoring at 8:57 of the first period when Martin Erat netted his first goal of the season. Erat took a feed from Hartnell, skated up the left side of the ice and cranked a slap shot from the face-off circle that rung off the post and past Khabibulin for the 1-0 Nashville lead.
Yanic Perreault would give the Predators a 2-0 lead with a power-play goal with 6:11 left in the opening stanza. Defenseman Dan Hamhuis ripped a shot from the point that Khabibulin would stop, but the puck kicked right out in front and Perreault, who was not covered defensively, buried the rebound.
Nashville increased its lead to 3-0 on Kariya's third goal of the season at 15:04. Legwand made a pass from the corner to Kariya, who skated out to the slot and fired a backhand shot past Khabibulin's stick side.
Chicago had several chances to get on the board in the first period, but they were unable to convert on four power-play opportunities.
The Blackhawks would come roaring back in the second period, scoring two goals within 36 seconds.
Dowd scored after Mark Bell fired a wrist shot from the right circle that Vokoun stopped, but after a scramble in front, Dowd swiped at the puck and knocked it home, trimming the lead to 3-1 at 9:56.
Seconds later, Matthew Barnaby would make the score 3-2, scoring his second goal of the season on a break-away. Defenseman Duncan Keith fired the puck up the ice and hit Barnaby in stride, who skated in all alone on Vokoun, faked a back hand shot, and went forehand for the score at 10:32.
With less than a minute to go in the second period, Nashville would add to its lead as Legwand scored his second goal of the season, padding the lead to 4-2 at 19:06. Kariya fired a wrist shot that hit Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook and the puck dropped to Legwand in the slot. He then deked down low, and roofed the puck over Khabibulin, who dropped down on the play.
Sullivan scored a short-handed goal 1:34 into the final period. On the power play, Chicago's Tyler Arnason attempted a cross-ice pass, but Sullivan intercepted it in the neutral zone and skated in on a breakaway, beating Khabibulin high glove side for the 5-2 Nashville lead.
Chicago was able to score a power-play goal late in the game. Vandermeer ripped a slap shot from the point that beat Vokoun high over his shoulder at 18:22 of the third period.
Tuesday's test was Nashville's 500th game in franchise history...Kariya picked up his 400th career assist...Blackhawks' center Tuomo Ruutu missed his third straight game with a back injury.
10/25 23:43:48 ET