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Post-Game Musings: vs Chicago

Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 11:47 PM / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Post-Game Musings: vs Chicago
The Nashville Predators spotted the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-0 lead before mounting a furious comeback to tie the score, 4-4, 7:10 into the third period behind a pair of goals from Shea Weber and a spectacular highlight reel score by Alexander Radulov. However, Chicago answered back later in the period and held on for the 5-4 win.

The Preds split their back-to-back set on the weekend and still sit in the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference playoff standings, one point ahead of both Detroit and Chicago, setting the stage for an exciting final week of the regular season.

Now on the musings...


THREE MUSINGS:
Special Teams: Chicago took advantage of its power-play opportunities early in the game to build a 2-0 lead, opening the scoring with a first period PPG and then converting in the opening moments of the second period on a carry-over power-play from the first period. Chicago hit Patrick Kane for a breakaway goal moments after a good kill of the Preds first power-play for the team's third goal of the game. Nashville countered with special teams contributions to key its comeback later in the game, scoring its first goal on the power-play (and then adding a second score 49 seconds later). After killing off a pair of Chicago power-plays late in the second period, the Preds tied the score at 4-4 with a power-play goal at the 7:10 mark of the third period.

Suter Takes Over: Ryan Suter took over the game in the final half of the second period, finishing with three assists in the final 30:31 of game action. He set up Nashville’s first two goals, earning the primary assist on both scores. He backed that up with a trio of high-quality defensive plays to diffuse potentially dangerous Chicago opportunities later in the second frame. Suter then added the primary assist on Nashville’s fourth goal to tie the score in the middle of the third period, before making a game-saving play in the crease to clear away a would-be Hawks goal late in regulation keeping the Preds within one goal.

Offensive Wizardry: Patrick Kane and Alexander Radulov put on an impressive display of offensive creativity in tonight’s game, almost like they were trying to one-up each other. Trotz commented after the game about Kane's and Radulov's abilities to "make something out of nothing." Radulov was creative throughout the night, but was at his best during the third period, including an unreal move to score the Preds third goal of the night, skating through two Hawks defenders before roofing a backhand attempt from in close. Kane was flying all over the ice for the Hawks, assisting on Chicago’s second goal and then sneaking behind the Preds defense to create a homerun pass from Niklas Hjalmarsson for a breakaway goal.


THREE QUOTES:
Head Coach Barry Trotz on tonight's game...
"Yeah, there was opportunity. If you win tonight, you’ve got a little bit of breathing room. They win, and they force us to win all three of our games now. It’s still in our control in terms of the 4‐5 seed, what’s not in our control now is home‐ice advantage."

Forward David Legwand on tonight's game...
"We got down two, then we got down four. It seems we get a goal, then we get the second one right away, and then the third [goal] in the third [period] and then we tie it. Right after that, they come back and score the fifth one. It’s a tough game, but we have to bounce back and be ready to go Tuesday. It’s over and done with and we still have a chance. We still
control where we finish and we have to go forward."

Captain Shea Weber on Nashville’s belief in winning the game after tying it up…
"I think before that [we thought we could win]. I think when it was 4‐2 we still thought we had a chance to win the game. We were getting a lot of chances and we felt like we could go for it. Obviously, when we tied it up, we thought we could win it. When they scored that last one, it really took everything we had out of us."


THREE STARS:
1) CHI D Brent Seabrook - 1 goal, 1 assist, 31:12 ice time; game-winning goal
2) NSH D Ryan Suter - 3 assists, 27:41 time on ice
3) CHI F Viktor Stalberg - 1 goal; was impactful on several rushes for Chicago


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