Rich Peverley and J.P. Dumont converted their shootout attempts, while Dan Ellis turned aside the first two Blackhawks shooters, giving the Predators a 3-2 win at Chicago on Monday night. Ellis finished the game with 23 saves for his second win of the season. Defensemen Kevin Klein and Shea Weber netted the Nashville goals during the regulation time.
The teams played an entertaining back-and-forth overtime session. Bonk, Dumont, Erat, Fiddler, Hornqvist, and Weber all had quality chances in extra time, but were unable to convert, including a pair of attempts in the final minute of play. Martin Havlat, Patrick Kane, and Jonathan Toews were dangerous during the overtime session for Chicago.
Kane led off the shootout, but Ellis turned aside his five-hole attempt. Rich Peverley converted Nashville's first attempt, snapping a shot five-hole. Havlat, the second Chicago skater, deked to draw Ellis down, but the Predators goaltender recovered and made a sprawling left pad save. Dumont snapped his attempt five-hole to secure the shootout win.
Martin Havlat opened the scoring with a five-on-three power-play goal 6:14 into the game. Patrick Kane created the score along the right wing boards, holding the play patiently and riffling a tape-to-tape pass to Havlat alone at the far post for the easy tip-in.
The Predators answered with a power-play goal of their own at the 10:31 mark of the first period. J.P. Dumont had the puck down in the left wing corner. Dumont fed a pass to Weber at the near side post. Weber went d-to-d along the blueline with Ryan Suter. Suter quickly relayed the pass back to Weber for a blast from the point which beat Cristobal Huet clean for his second goal of the season.
Dan Ellis made some sensational saves through the back half of the period to keep the score tied. He stoned Jonathan Toews after Toews split the defensemen in coming down the center slot. Toews drew a penalty on the play and got loose in front of the net seconds into the man-advantage, but Ellis denied the young Hawks forward.
At the end of the power-play, Chicago tried to complete a pass back to point man, but the puck hopped over the defenseman's stick right as Klein came out of the penalty box for a full breakaway. Klein made a deke and snapped a shot high to the glove side to give the Predators a 2-1 lead. The goal, an unassisted tally, was Klein's first of the season and second of his career.
Chicago netted the equalizer 29 seconds into the second period when the Predators were unable to clear the zone. Brent Seabrook held at the blueline and snapped the puck to the front of the net. Patrick Sharp was denied on his first two whacks at the puck, but slid his third attempt just past Ellis's extended right pad.
Jason Arnott nearly gave the Predators another lead when he was able to sneak behind the Chicago defense for a partial breakaway. He faked far side and pulled a shot back across to the nearside. The shot beat Huet clean, but rang off the post.
Midway through the third period, Radek Bonk and Dumont broke in on a two-on-two. Bonk feathered a perfect lead pass to Dumont. Dumont deked to draw Huet out of position, but when he tried to pull the puck back to slide it into the vacated net, Chicago's defenseman poke-checked the play into the corner.
Chicago's duo of Kane and Toews had a couple of quality scoring chances in late in regulation, including a shift with under 1:00 remaining, but Ellis was able to turn the plays aside.
Both of Kevin Klein's two career goals have come at Chicago. His first career goal was Jan. 26, 2007 against Nikolai Khabibulin ... J.P. Dumont has recorded a point in all three Preds games this season (0g-5a) ... The Predators have allowed 25-or-fewer shots against in each of their first three games this season ... Nashville's defensemen have combined to score 4 goals goals through the first three games of the season (Shea Weber -2; Klein - 1; Ryan Suter - 1) ... Suter skated a team-high 30:08 of ice time ... Dan Hamhuis registered a game-high 5 hits.
Post-Game Quotes Head Coach Barry Trotz:
“Special teams was the difference tonight. We stuck to our game plan. Chicago is a very explosive team. It’s exciting over here with the new direction they are going. It was big for us to get the two points because of the division rivalry.”
Forward J.P. Dumont:
“We had problems with our shootouts last year. We’ve worked harder on them and it paid off tonight. (Dan) Ellis made some great saves for us tonight and we had a solid team effort. Chicago is a tough team to beat, with a lot of talented young players. That was a big two-point win for us.”