Nashville
Predators
41-32-9
Chicago
Blackhawks
40-34-8

32 SOG
22 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
NSH
CHI
game recap

Blackhawks best Predators, 5-2

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 1:11 AM

Associated Press

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Blackhawks best Predators, 5-2
Nashville Predators 2, Chicago Blackhawks 5

CHICAGO (AP) -The Chicago Blackhawks got key goals from Robert Lang and big saves from Nikolai Khabibulin to win their season-high fourth straight game.

Lang scored two goals in the third period and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 5-2 on Wednesday night.

"Everyone knows that Nick was the first star tonight on both sides of the red line," Jonathan Toews said. "He won the game for us.

"All in all, I don't think we played as well as could tonight. But we came away with two points and we're happy about it."

Both of Lang's goals restored two-goal leads for the Blackhawks, who held on for a season-high fourth straight win.

Patrick Sharp, Toews and Patrick Kane each had a goal and assist for the Blackhawks.

Khabibulin was sharp and made 30 saves. Among them were numerous point-blank chances, including several on odd-man breaks, that kept Nashville from tying the game.

The Blackhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, but struggled to stay ahead.

"We had a decent start, but again got ourselves in trouble with turnovers," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "They put a lot of pressure on us."

But the Blackhawks didn't collapse before a season-high crowd of 20,511.

"I don't think about that (the crowd)," Khabibulin said. "I just step out on the ice and do the best I can. I'm just happy we've won four straight."

Alexander Radulov and Marek Zidlicky scored for Nashville, which had won its previous two games. The Predators went 0-for 6 on the power-play.

Sharp's goal, which opened the scoring in the first period, was his league-leading seventh short-handed. As a team, the Blackhawks lead the NHL with 12 short-handed goals.

"We had our chances, but we didn't bury them," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We had three power play chances in the first period.

"Every time we come in here they seem to score a short-handed goal," he added. "That can be pretty deflating."

Dan Ellis started in goal for Nashville. He was replaced by Chris Mason late in the first period after allowing two goals on the Chicago's first three shots.

Mason permitted two goals on 18 shots

"Khabibulin made some great saves when he had to," Mason said. 'We need to get some gritty goals on deflection and screens. We don't have the same kind of skilled goal-scoring we in previous years."

Chicago defenseman Brent Sopel suffered a broken finger in the first period and, according Savard, will miss two-to-four weeks.

Blackhawks blueliner James Wisniewski sustained an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his knee in a fight at the end of the game with Nashville's Jordin Tootoo. Savard expects Wisniewski, who will undergo an MRI, to be sidelined for at least four-to-six weeks.

Notes: The Blackhawks placed three players - RW Martin Havlat (groin), C Dave Bolland (broken finger) and LW Ben Eager (concussion) on injured reserve on Wednesday. Havlat, one of the league's top offensive talents, was injured Saturday in Ottawa and will miss at least a week. Havlat sat out 22 games earlier this season with a shoulder injury. In 12 games, he has five goals and six assists. ... Nashville D Shea Weber missed his second game with an ankle injury.

PREDATORS Game Notes: Both Radek Bonk and Dan Hamhuis have assists in back-to-back games… David Legwand now has points in his past three games (1g-2a)… Marek Zidlicky scored his first goal since Nov. 10, and now has points in eight of the last 12 games (1g-7a)… The Predators are now 6-5-2 against the Central Division… Alexander Radulov has seven points (3g-4a) in four games this season vs. Chicago, while Vernon Fiddler, David Legwand and Zidlicky have four points (1g-3a) in four outings against the Blackhawks… Nashville has now successfully killed 39 of the last 40 power plays against and 52-of-55 dating back to Nov. 24 vs. Minnesota… Hamhuis logged a team-high 26:18… Greg Zanon had a game-high five blocked shots while Bonk posted a game-high six shots on goal… Jerred Smithson and Vernon Fiddler combined to win 10 of 14 faceoffs… These teams meet again on Jan. 13 in Nashville. The next time the Predators travel to Chicago is for the season finale on April 4.

scoring summary
1st Period
11:27
CHI
SHG - Patrick Sharp (19) Snap shot - ASST: Jonathan Toews (17), Duncan Keith (9)
1 - 0 CHI
15:38
CHI
Jonathan Toews (14) Snap shot - ASST: Patrick Sharp (13), Patrick Kane (26)
2 - 0 CHI
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
02:05
NSH
Alexander Radulov (8) Snap shot - ASST: Radek Bonk (5), Dan Hamhuis (12)
2 - 1 CHI
08:55
CHI
Robert Lang (12) Snap shot - ASST: Dustin Byfuglien (9), Cam Barker (1)
3 - 1 CHI
13:10
NSH
Marek Zidlicky (2) Snap shot - ASST: David Legwand (18), Vernon Fiddler (10)
3 - 2 CHI
14:42
CHI
Robert Lang (13) Snap shot - ASST: Tuomo Ruutu (9), Petri Kontiola (3)
4 - 2 CHI
18:45
CHI
EN - Patrick Kane (9) Snap shot - ASST: NONE
5 - 2 CHI
penalty summary
1st Period
00:44
NSH
Greg De Vries  Hooking against  Robert Lang
07:57
CHI
Patrick Sharp  Slashing against  Dan Hamhuis
10:26
CHI
Martin Lapointe  Hi-sticking against  Greg Zanon
12:57
CHI
Dustin Byfuglien  Charging against  Scott Nichol
16:46
NSH
Radek Bonk  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
18:53
NSH
Jerred Smithson  Tripping against  Tuomo Ruutu
2nd Period
00:49
CHI
Jonathan Toews  Slashing against  Martin Erat
07:27
NSH
Dan Hamhuis  Hooking against  Tuomo Ruutu
14:18
CHI
Robert Lang  Hooking against  Ville Koistinen
16:21
CHI
Cam Barker  Tripping against  Alexander Radulov
3rd Period
07:36
NSH
Martin Erat  Tripping against  James Wisniewski
07:36
CHI
James Wisniewski  Diving against  Martin Erat
20:00
CHI
James Wisniewski  Fighting (maj) against  Jordin Tootoo
20:00
NSH
Jordin Tootoo  Fighting (maj) against  James Wisniewski
goalie stats
Chris Mason
SA: 18TOI: 43:56
Saves: 16EV: 11 - 13
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .889SH: 3 - 3
Dan Ellis
SA: 3TOI: 15:38
Saves: 1EV: 0 - 1
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .333SH: 0 - 1
Nikolai Khabibulin
Nikolai Khabibulin
SA: 32TOI: 60:00
Saves: 30EV: 23 - 25
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 7
SV%: .938SH: 0 - 0

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