Chicago
Blackhawks
46-24-12
Nashville
Predators
40-34-8

32 SOG
29 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
CHI
NSH
game recap

Predators 5, Blackhawks 3

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 12:51 AM

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Some of the Nashville Predators chose to stay silent. Others chatted about similar situations they faced in their hockey lives.

Whatever approach a player took during the downtime before the third period Tuesday night, there was a sense in the locker room that something dramatic was about to happen.

J.P. Dumont, who was part of the drama, could sense a different atmosphere just before he and three other Predators scored goals in the final 20 minutes to rally from a 3-1 deficit to a 5-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

"Everyone knew a storm was coming," said Dumont. "I think everybody knew we were going to come back. It was a great feeling."

David Legwand opened the scoring for the Predators a little more than two minutes into the third period. Dumont added a power-play goal less than three minutes later to tie the game. Joel Ward, who earlier failed to finish on a wide-open shot, tipped in the winner with 5:03 to play. Shea Weber added an insurance goal on the power play at 17:10.

Resilient Preds Climb Closer to Playoff Spot

For the third time since the All-Star Break the Predators grabbed two points the hard way -- by erasing a two-goal deficit to pick up a key come-from-behind win.

On January 28, the first game after the All-Star Weekend, the Predators trailed 3-1 late in the second period at Vancouver with all-world netminder Roberto Luongo. Nashville tallied a pair of power-play goals in the final minutes of the middle frame to tie the score and then added another two goals in the third period to claim a 5-3 win. Two weeks later on home ice the Preds found themselves in an early 2-0 hole against the St. Louis Blues. After trading goals to make it 3-1, Nashville scored a pair of third period goals to force overtime -- including the game-tying tally with three seconds left on the clock -- only to win in a shootout, 4-3. Two nights later the Preds squandered a two-goal lead against the Boston Bruins when the Bruins scored late in regulation to force overtime. In the shootout, the Preds were down 1-0 and down to their last shooter when Martin Erat converted to force an extra shootout frame, Pekka Rinne shut the door on Phil Kessel, and David Legwand converted the shootout winner to salvage the extra OT point.

Then tonight, the Preds again trailed 2-0 and 3-1 only to rally for four third period goals to stun the visiting Chicago Blackhawks, 5-3.

As a result the Preds find themselves with 62 points and just three points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, a four-way tie for seventh place. Nashville has four games remaining on its schedule against teams in that 65-point log-jam; a home date with Edmonton a week from tonight, a home and a road match-up with Anaheim six days apart in mid-March, and the regular season finale at Minnesota. Further the Preds are just four points behind sixth place Columbus Blue Jackets with three more head-to-head match-ups on the schedule.

Thanks to the huge come-from-behind wins the Predators have put themselves back in a position where they can control their own playoff fate without having to watch the out-of-town scores.
--Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com

"After we made it 3-2 everybody on the bench knew the game was ours," said Dumont. "We knew what we had to do."

Arnott had scored in the second period. He also added an assist on Dumont's goal. Dumont assisted on Arnott's goal for a multipoint game. Martin Erat had three assists, all in the third period.

"We stuck with our game plan and kept working at it," Arnott said. "Everyone contributed, even the guys who didn't score. We just went out and played together and worked hard to get out of it."

The Predators had only six goals in their previous five games. Legwand thinks scoring four in a period might be the boost the offense has needed.

"Five goals in a game is kind of unusual for us," Legwand admitted. "It is a change of pace. It would be nice to score five goals every game, but that is very unlikely that is going to happen.

"Getting a goal early in the third was a key. Getting the two power play goals in the third was huge."

Dustin Byfuglien, Martin Havlat and Patrick Kane scored for the Blackhawks. Both Havlat and Kane got their 20th goals of the season.

"I don't think we played well in the first or third period," said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville. "It has been a long road trip. I don't like to make excuses, but we were definitely not good enough. We've got to bring some emotion and tonight was not our best."

The Predators cut the Blackhawks' lead to one goal when Legwand skated in from the right side and beat Cristobal Huet with a backhander to his glove side from the edge of the crease.

Dumont tied the game with a slap shot from above the right circle that beat Huet to his glove side.

Ward got the winner when he tipped in a shot to the glove side of Huet as he battled in a crowd in front of the crease.

After neither team could find the net in the first period, the Blackhawks opened up the game in the second period with three goals.

Brian Campbell fired a slap shot from a few feet inside the blue line that was redirected by Byfuglien to beat goaltender Pekka Rinne. Havlat scored from low in the slot, beating Rinne low to his glove side.

Kane's wrist shot from along the goal line went behind Rinne by bouncing off his leg pad.

Arnott had the Predators' only goal in the period, in between Havlat and Kane scoring. Steve Sullivan's backhander from close range was blocked by Huet. Arnott skated in behind Sullivan, picked up the rebound, and shot a backhander over Huet's left shoulder.

Notes: Rinne had averaged 1.97 goals per game in his previous four games against the Blackhawks. ... Arnott has points (six goals, five assists) in nine of his last 12 games.

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
06:05
CHI
Dustin Byfuglien (10) Tip-in - ASST: Brian Campbell (33), Kris Versteeg (28)
1 - 0 CHI
08:57
CHI
Marty Havlat (20) Backhand shot - ASST: Dave Bolland (23), Brian Campbell (34)
2 - 0 CHI
14:11
NSH
Jason Arnott (22) Backhand shot - ASST: Steve Sullivan (6), J-P Dumont (32)
2 - 1 CHI
15:17
CHI
Patrick Kane (20) Wrist shot - ASST: Troy Brouwer (14)
3 - 1 CHI
3rd Period
02:10
NSH
David Legwand (15) Backhand shot - ASST: Martin Erat (22), Dan Hamhuis (16)
3 - 2 CHI
05:11
NSH
PPG - J-P Dumont (12) Slapshot - ASST: Ryan Suter (28), Jason Arnott (19)
3 - 3 Tie
14:57
NSH
Joel Ward (9) Wrist shot - ASST: David Legwand (18), Martin Erat (23)
4 - 3 NSH
17:10
NSH
PPG - Shea Weber (16) Wrist shot - ASST: Martin Erat (24), Dan Hamhuis (17)
5 - 3 NSH
penalty summary
1st Period
08:19
NSH
Greg De Vries  Cross checking against  Colin Fraser
12:38
CHI
Troy Brouwer  Tripping against  Ryan Suter
17:45
NSH
Ryan Suter  Interference against  Andrew Ladd
2nd Period
16:07
CHI
Marty Havlat  Interference against  Jordin Tootoo
19:10
CHI
Cristobal Huet  Roughing against  Joel Ward
3rd Period
05:04
CHI
Ben Eager  Tripping against  Greg Zanon
10:36
CHI
Andrew Ladd  Hooking against  Joel Ward
15:27
CHI
Troy Brouwer  Interference against  Antti Pihlstrom
goalie stats
Cristobal Huet
Cristobal Huet
17-12-3
SA: 29TOI: 57:29
Saves: 24EV: 18 - 21
PIM: 2PP: 5 - 7
SV%: .828SH: 1 - 1
Pekka Rinne
SA: 32TOI: 58:52
Saves: 29EV: 26 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: .906SH: 3 - 3

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