Nashville
Predators
49-25-8
Chicago
Blackhawks
26-43-13

29 SOG
28 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
NSH
CHI
game recap

Blackhawks 4, Predators 3

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 1:20 AM

Associated Press

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Blackhawks 4, Predators 3
Nashville Predators 3, Chicago Blackhawks 4

CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Blackhawks used simple fundamentals to beat the Nashville Predators.

Rene Bourque had a goal and two assists, and the Blackhawks scored four times in the first period of a 4-3 victory Wednesday night. The Predators lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp and Mark Bell also scored for the Blackhawks, who won for just the third time in 10 games.

Nashville's top goalie, Tomas Vokoun, is out with a sore back so the Blackhawks decided to test Wednesday's starter Chris Mason.

"With their goaltending right now, we just wanted to get pucks at the net and that's what we did," Bourque said. "On Beller's goal and my goal we really didn't have much to shoot at, but it found its way in."

That's exactly what Chicago coach Trent Yawney hoped would happen.

"It's all about getting the pucks to the net," Yawney said. "Speaking from experience as a defenseman, those shots out of the corner, if they hit the net and you're not paying attention, you can easily be pulling them out of the back of your net."

Mason allowed three goals on 26 shots. He was pulled late in the first after giving up three goals on 10 shots, but returned to start the second.

Pekka Rinne relieved for the final 3:08 of the first and permitted a goal on two shots.

Nikolai Khabibulin made 26 saves, as the Blackhawks played a one-goal game for the 10th time in 11.

"They scored two quick goals," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "I was trying to change it and save a timeout because I knew we were in trouble.

"I put Pekka Rinne in and he let in a quick goal. I figured, 'Mase, go back in and start this thing over again.' Everybody involved in the first period was involved, so it was a do-over."

Greg Johnson had a goal and an assist. Dan Hamhuis and Mark Eaton also scored for injury-depleted Nashville, but the Predators couldn't overcome the 4-1 lead Chicago built after 20 minutes.

"Our first period today was atrocious, probably the worst period all year," Eaton said. "It's the NHL. Any team you spot three goals, it's going to be a tough time coming back. We just need to get off to some better starts and get some momentum coming our way."

Keith opened the scoring at 8:37 when he pinched in from the point, took a pass from Matthew Barnaby and scored from the edge of the crease.

Johnson tied it, converting a breakaway one second after a Nashville penalty expired.

Sharp, Bell and Bourque then scored in span of 3:57. Bourque beat Rinne between the legs with a backhand shot with 57 seconds left in the period.

Hamhuis cut it to 4-2 with a power-play goal at 3:25 of the second when his shot bounced in off Khabibulin's pad.

Eaton trimmed it to 4-3 just 25 seconds into the third. He skated in from the blue line, took Johnson's pass from behind the net and scored from the slot.

The Blackhawks, who have blown leads late in games all season, managed to hold on.

The Predators remained in fourth place in the Western Conference, but are concerned about stumbling into the playoffs.

"Regardless of who you're playing, you bring your (best) efforts," Mason said. "Playoffs are six games away now. We can't afford to be coasting."

Notes: Nashville D Brendan Witt served a one-game suspension for kneeing Columbus' David Vyborny on Monday. ... Nashville RW Steve Sullivan (sore groin), RW Jordin Tootoo (sore back) and D Marek Zidlicky (sore shoulder) all sat out and are day-to-day. ... The Blackhawks have won two straight against Nashville after dropping their first five games against the Predators. ... Bourque has three goals and two assists in his last two games. Sharp has a five-game point streak with three goals and three assists. ... The Blackhawks, who will miss the postseason for the seventh time in eight seasons, plan to send at least six players to Norfolk for the AHL playoffs.

scoring summary
1st Period
08:37
CHI
Duncan Keith (9) Snap shot - ASST: Matthew Barnaby (19), Rene Bourque (17)
1 - 0 CHI
13:16
NSH
Greg Johnson (11) Snap shot - ASST: NONE
1 - 1 Tie
15:06
CHI
Patrick Sharp (13) Snap shot - ASST: Martin Lapointe (17), Jim Vandermeer (16)
2 - 1 CHI
16:52
CHI
Mark Bell (23) Snap shot - ASST: Radim Vrbata (20), Rene Bourque (18)
3 - 1 CHI
19:03
CHI
Rene Bourque (16) Backhand shot - ASST: Matthew Barnaby (20)
4 - 1 CHI
2nd Period
03:25
NSH
PPG - Dan Hamhuis (6) Tip-in - ASST: Martin Erat (27), David Legwand (16)
4 - 2 CHI
3rd Period
00:25
NSH
Mark Eaton (2) Snap shot - ASST: Greg Johnson (7), Darcy Hordichuk (6)
4 - 3 CHI
penalty summary
1st Period
02:45
CHI
James Wisniewski  Holding
11:15
NSH
Mark Eaton  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
2nd Period
00:22
CHI
Matthew Barnaby  Fighting (maj) against  Darcy Hordichuk
00:22
NSH
Darcy Hordichuk  Fighting (maj) against  Matthew Barnaby
01:54
CHI
Mark Bell  Hooking against  Dan Hamhuis
02:50
CHI
Jim Vandermeer  Hi-sticking against  Yanic Perreault
02:50
NSH
Yanic Perreault  Elbowing against  Jim Vandermeer
09:14
CHI
Rene Bourque  Roughing against  Paul Kariya
14:08
NSH
Dan Hamhuis  Roughing against  Kyle Calder
3rd Period
04:23
NSH
Mike Sillinger  Hooking against  Patrick Sharp
08:04
NSH
Darcy Hordichuk  Interference on goalkeeper against  Nikolai Khabibulin
09:45
NSH
Dan Hamhuis  Hi-sticking against  Rene Bourque
12:19
CHI
Radim Vrbata  Hi-sticking against  Paul Kariya
17:33
CHI
Michal Barinka  Holding against  Adam Hall
18:36
NSH
Scott Hartnell  Tripping
19:35
NSH
Kimmo Timonen  Hooking
goalie stats
Chris Mason
SA: 26TOI: 55:50
Saves: 23EV: 16 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 6
SV%: .885SH: 1 - 1
Pekka Rinne
SA: 2TOI: 3:08
Saves: 1EV: 1 - 2
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: .500SH: 0 - 0
Nikolai Khabibulin
Nikolai Khabibulin
SA: 29TOI: 60:00
Saves: 26EV: 20 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 7
SV%: .897SH: 0 - 0

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