So Close… Blackhawks Win 5-4

Chicago Blackhawks 5 vs Nashville Predators 4

The Nashville Predators lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in a game they didn’t deserve to win. The Blackhawks were once up 4-0, and somehow the Predators came back with an all-out offensive attack to tie the game. At one point, Preds fans were thinking, “Will this be another Columbus Blue Jackets come-back win?”. I sure was thinking that, and hoping.

Don’t get me wrong, the Predators did have a solid ending to the game, but the start was pure awful. If you were listening to the Predators NOW! Pre-Game Show, I said “The Keys to the Game for the Nashville Predators is to start fast, and finish strong.” In this game tonight, they started slow, but finished very strong. 

Penalties were the absolute killer to the Nashville Predators tonight. Nashville took six penalties in the game. Luckily, the Chicago Blackhawks’ power play has been awful this season, 25th in the NHL, and only scored twice in the game. Although, those two goals decided the game for Chicago.

By the way, another 500 milestone was hit Saturday night. David Legwand scored his 500th career NHL point.

Crashing the Net

There is one player in particular, who crashes the net constantly. His hame is Patric Hornqvist. Every single time a puck is in or around the crease, when he is out there, he is at the puck. And every single time he tries to get to the puck, he is roughed up by an opposing player or goaltender. After he is knocked down, you always see his visor crooked and fogged up. Even though this happens all the time, Hornqvist is there. His screens and crashing the net, usually turns into a goal. 

Saturday night, Patric Hornqvist was hit, knocked down or beat up, however you want to put it, every single time he went near Corey Crawford. The Chicago Blackhawks players were always on him. After that, there was usually a scrum of some Predators players defending him. Paul Gaustad was one of them, as he was unfairly called for roughing, trying to defend his teammate. 

The first goal for the Nashville Predators was scored because Patric Hornqvist was screening Corey Crawford. Crawford didn’t see a thing, as he just went down to hope the puck would hit him. The second goal of the game was scored because Alexander Radulov was in front of Crawford, getting in the way of his vision of seeing the puck. Even Mike Fisher was tipping pucks in front of Crawford, as the tip just hit off Crawford’s left shoulder.

One thing so many Preds fans have noticed is, “Why haven’t our players been defending our goalie like so many other teams have done against Patric Hornqvist?” I don’t know why, but that has to change. Pekka Rinne is arguably, the best goaltender in the world. And to not defend him should be a crime. I am seeing some flashes of it, but defending Rinne or Lindback is not consistent. That better change during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Season Series

Date Away Home Result
10/31 NSH CHI 4-5 CHI
1/21 CHI NSH 2-5 NSH
1/24 NSH CHI 3-1 NSH
2/14 CHI NSH 2-3 NSH
3/25 NSH CHI 6-1 NSH
3/31 CHI NSH 5-4 CHI

Line Up Report

Starting Goalies:

Name SV SH Decision SV % TOI
#35 Pekka Rinne 32 37 L .865 59:24
#50 Corey Crawford 29 33 W .879 59:58

Predators Scratches: #15 C Craig Smith, #18 W Brandon Yip, #23 W Brian McGrattan (Upper Body), #33 C Colin Wilson, #38 D Jack Hillen, #49 D Ryan Ellis and #72 W Jack Maclellan

Blackhawks Scratches: #2 D Duncan Keith (Suspension), #5 D Steve Montador (Concussion Like Symptoms), #19 C Jonathan Toews (Upper Body), #20 D Sami Lepisto (Concussion Like Symptoms), #17 C Brendan Morrison and #67 W Michael Frolik

Period by Period Summary

First Period

  • 1:16 in, Pekka Rinne made an incredible stop on Bryan Bickell sliding from the right post. The Blackhawks were celebrating, but the shot didn’t go in.
  • 1:38 in, Matt Halischuk went to the penalty box for high-sticking Bickell in the neutral zone.
  • 2:55 in, Patrick Kane shot a one-timer to the left of Rinne, but Peks stopped it.
  • 3:25 in, Patrick Sharp scored a goal off Hal Gill, sliding to block the shot, on the power play to make it 1-0 Blackhawks. The Blackhawks controlled that PP well, due to weak clears by Nashville.
  • 8:46 in, Rinne stopped Patrick Kane, after wheeling around. Great stop by Rinne using his blocker.
  • 10:27 in, Paul Gaustad was stopped on a one-time shot from the corner, as it slid under Crawford’s pads. A huge scrum in front resulted in Hornqvist getting hit in the eye with a stick, Paul Gaustad defending him by shoving people and Weber jumping in from the point to get them off of Hornqvist.
  • 10:27 in, Paul Gaustad was the only one to go to the box for roughing after the scrum. Awful call by the referees to single him out. Sean O’Donnell should have gone to the box after he cross-checked Hornqvist in the back twice!
  • 10:41 in, Patrick Sharp was robbed by Pekka Rinne. Incredible save on his side. 
  • 12:27 in, Gaustad’s penalty was killed off.
  • 15:25 in, Crawford made a sick glove save on Hornqvist using his back-hand, in front of the net.
  • Around 18:40 in, Nick Spaling’s cross-ice one-timer was gloved down by Crawford going post to post. 
  • 19:06 in, Joel Quinneville took his Time Out to give his players some rest.
  • 19:49 in, David Legwand went to the box for hooking Nick Leddy. The penalty would carry over into the 2nd.
  • The first period ended with Chicago leading, 1-0. They out-shot Nashville, 16-12.

Second Period

  • 1:05 in, Dave Bolland scored the power play goal. Marian Hossa passed from the right of Rinne to the left circle, and Bolland just shot the puck home. That made it 2-0 Blackhawks.
  • 4:36 in, Sean O’Donnell went to the box for hooking
  • 6:36 in, O’Donnell’s penalty was killed off, easily. Nashville had an awful power play, as they didn’t even get set up right and get a shot off.
  • 6:50 in, Patrick Kane got behind the defense, as Niklas Hjalmarsson gave a long pass to Kane. Kane went on a break-away and scored to take a 3-0 Chicago lead.
  • 8:35 in, Viktor Stalberg entered the zone by going around Francis Bouillon and shot, but was stopped by Rinne. The puck went into the corner and Stalberg shot at the net. The puck rebounded off Rinne into the net to make it 4-0 Chicago.
  • 9:21 in, Dave Bolland went to the box for inteference. Power play for Nashville.
  • 9:29 in, Martin Erat scored from the left circle of Crawford. He was screened and didn’t see a thing. 4-1 Blackhawks.
  • 10:18 in, Shea Weber scored from the right point of Crawford. Nashville started to get momentum as they made in 4-2 Blackhawks.
  • 10:52 in, Pekka Rinne made a glove save on Marcus Kruger at the high-slot.
  • 13:13 in, Marian Hossa drew a slashing penalty on Martin Erat. Erat slashed the stick out of Hossa’s hand.
  • 15:13 in, Martin Erat’s penalty was killed off. Chicago had zero shots on goal. Great PK by Nashville.
  • 15:51 in, Patrick Sharp was alone going after the loose puck in the Preds’ zone. Pekka Rinne came out of his net to beat Sharp and clear the puck away.
  • 16:46 in, Gabriel Bourque went to the box for tripping. Weak call, as Bourque’s foot got caught with Oduya’s in the corner.
  • 17:26 in, Nick Spaling stole the puck, short-handed, and went on a break-away. Spaling’s shot got a piece of the crossbar. He wanted that again.
  • 18:46 in, Bourque’s penalty was killed off. 
  • 19:28 in, the Blackhawks were called with a bench minor. There were seven Blackhawks players on the ice. The penalty would carry over to the third period.
  • 19:55 in, Crawford made a great glove save on Hornqvist. After that, Crawford and Seabrook attacked Hornqvist, crashing the net. After that, Fisher hit Seabrook and Crawford used the end of his stick to poke Fisher in the face.
  • At the end of the second, the score was 4-2 Blackhawks. Chicago out-shot Nashville thorugh two, 22-21.

Third Period

  • 1:28 in, the Chicago bench minor was killed off. Nashville had two shots on net.
  • 4:38 in, Alexander Radulov split O’Donnell and Seabrook, as he went in on Crawford alone. Radulov went forehand, backhand, blocker side, to score and make it 4-3 Chicago.
  • 6:05 in, Dave Bolland went to the box for boarding. Bolland made head contact with Erat’s head, behind the net. After that, the standing ovation occurred.
  • 7:10 in, Shea Weber scored from the point, blocker side. Weber got at least 100 mph on that shot. That tired the game up.
  • 8:19 in, Brent Seabrook scored alone on the right side of the net, off a one-timer. Chicago took the lead back, 5-4.
  • 14:00 in, Sergei Kostitsyn was breaking in on Crawford and tried to shoot short-side. Crawford covered the net well, as no goal was scored.
  • 17:17 in, Patrick Sharp picked up the puck that was in the slot. Rinne stopped him, and was a huge stop to keep Nashville alive.
  • 19:16 in, Pekka Rinne went to the bench for the extra attacker.
  • 19:27 in, Barry Trotz called a time out to set up a play.
  • 19:53 in, Alex Radulov went to the box for hooking. Shaw was about to shoot for the empty net, as Radulov did the smart play by holding him up.
  • The game ended with Chicago beating Nashville, 5-4. The Blackhawks won in shots, 37-33.

Chicago Blackhawks Players to Watch:

Name G A +/- TOI
#81 Marian Hossa 0 1 -1 18:39
#10 Patrick Sharp 1 0 +1 23:14
#88 Patrick Kane 1 1 0 19:36

Scoring Summary

PP Patrick Sharp – Shaw and Leddy at 3:25 in the 1st
PP Dave Bolland – Hossa and Kane at 1:05 in the 2nd
Patrick Kane – Hjalmarsson and Seabrook at 6:50 in the 2nd
Viktor Stalberg – Kruger at 8:35 in the 2nd
PP Martin Erat – Suter and Fisher at 9:29 in the 2nd
Shea Weber – Suter and A. Kostitysn at 10:18 in the 2nd
Alexander Radulov – Legwand and Klein at 4:38 in the 3rd
PP Shea Weber – Suter and Legwand at 7:10 in the 3rd
Brent Seabrook- Shaw and Bickell at 8:19 in the 3rd

My Three Stars of the Game

1. Patrick Kane: Goal & Assist
2. Ryan Suter: 3 Assists
3. Shea Weber: 2 Goals

Game Highlights

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