|CHI||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
|NSH||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Martin Havlat scored an empty-net goal and added an assist as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Predators 4-2 Tuesday night, damaging Nashville's playoff hopes.
Nashville is in a tight race for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks already are in.
Jonathan Toews, Dustin Byfuglien and Patrick Kane also scored for the Blackhawks in their fourth straight win.
Vernon Fiddler and Jason Arnott scored for the Predators.
Fiddler opened the scoring on the power play. He shot the puck across the crease and it bounced off of Chicago's Matt Walker and past goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.
But in the second period the Blackhawks struck three times.
Toews needed only 12 seconds to beat Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne with a wrist shot on a two-on-one break. Byfuglien scored 38 seconds later on a rebound.
Kane got Chicago's third goal of the second period, capitalizing on a turnover by Nashville's Dan Hamhuis. Kane skated through the inside edge of the left circle and backhanded a shot that went between Rinne's stick and the left post.
The Predators answered early in the third period. Steve Sullivan was skating down the left side of the ice and found Arnott low in the slot. Arnott beat Khabibulin to his stick side.
Havlat clinched it when he hit the empty net with 55 seconds remaining in regulation.
Notes: The Blackhawks came into the game averaging 3.15 goals per game. ... Ryan Jones returned to the lineup for the Predators after missing seven games with an upper body injury. ... Khabibulin has won seven of his last eight starts. ... Arnott has four points (3 goals, 1 assist) in the two games since his return from a concussion.
Barry Trotz Quotes
On the quick goals scored by Chicago at the beginning of the second period…
We were stunned for a bit there and in the end that might have been the worst 38 seconds of the year. You never know, but you have to give a lot of credit to Chicago; they came out hard today. We did have the 1-0 lead and they got a little bit of a lucky puck, and bounced over to Toews, and he went in and put one in off the post. The next shift, we turned it over. The second and third goals were just blatant turnovers and you can’t have those against a team like that. They are too dangerous and too strong offensively to give them those.
On what went wrong during the game…
There were a couple things tonight. I thought that we had trouble stopping the Toews line. We gave them the zone too easily. That threesome (with Kane and Havlat) was on their game tonight and I give them full credit. We did battle back and Arnott got the score there, but we just couldn’t get another one past Khabibulin.
On losing for the last home game…
It is a little bit frustrating because there were really two relatively simple plays that we have to make and we have to support that and we didn’t do it and they ended up scoring. It happened so quickly; you come out of the locker room and you are up 1-0 against a great Chicago team and see if you can build some momentum and before you sit down and get a chance to get comfortable in the second period, they’ve already scored two goals and that sort of put us on our heels for the rest of the period.
On the play during the third period…
In the third period we were resilient – if we get the next one, then you never know. We did do that, but we just weren’t able to get the third one. I give them full credit. They played really strong defensive game today and they had a lot of jump in their game.
On it being tough to come back…
We’ve been down that road a few times in the last 15 games with being down two-or-three goals and it’s taxing, there’s no question. You work hard and you have to push the envelope and you have to get one and not give up another one. It’s taxing, so when you are down against a pretty offensive team, it can be a little bit of a tough challenge. That’s what we play these games for. I can think of 35 really tough games in the last little while.
On the attitude of the team…
Our guys haven’t faltered and they aren’t going to quit until the end. We are going to go in; we’ve got a daunting task in Detroit, and we will hopefully take care of business in Detroit and Minnesota and get a little bit of luck on the way as well. Our guys are going to try to pull it out.
Forward Steve Sullivan
On needing help to make playoffs…
Destiny is not in our hands but the least we can do now is win our games and sit and wait. We still have some work to do and if we do our job and win two games then we can see what happens.
On the second period determining the outcome of the game…
I don’t think it was the whole second period – it was a minute. We got caught with our pants down for 50 seconds and it cost us the hockey game. We weren’t able to come back after that. That’s the way the game is played. The game can go from offensive to defense in a hurry. You can go from coming in here feeling good after the first period and a 15-minute break, then all of a sudden you’re down a goal, then down two goals even quicker than that. We’ve got a good goaltender. We know we’re not going to score four or five goals most nights – not this late in the season. So we have to make sure we’re better in our own net.
On playing back-to-back road games making it tougher on the team…
I don’t think it makes it any tougher. I think our mindset coming into this last week was we have to run the table. And we didn’t. We didn’t think two-out-of-three wins was going to be enough. Now we have to hope it is. We thought we had to win all three games so I think our mental state won’t change – we still have to go in and win two games. But now we have to look for some help.
Goaltender Pekka Rinne
On what Chicago was doing to cause problems…
They use their speed and their skill, but we also helped them. We turned the puck over way too much against their best players. But that’s hockey and they executed. Obviously I could have made a save or two.
On not holding their destiny in their own hands…
That’s why this feels really devastating. Now it’s out of our hands and we just have to win our next two games and hope that we get some help. That’s all we can do right now.
On a 50-second span in the second period changing the game…
We gave them everything. Also it was their best players and when they’re on the ice we have to be more responsible and smarter with the puck. But today it just cost us. But after that we really played a strong game and the guys really did a great job. We still have a lot of energy for the next two games.
Forward Jason Arnott
On the outcome…
Turnovers kind of cost us tonight. It’s tough, you can’t turn the puck over – especially against that line (Toews-Kane-Havlat). They really know how to take it on the offense. I think we just bit ourselves in the foot tonight. It’s frustrating – guys worked hard tonight. Pekka kept us in it and we tried to come back in the end, but it just wasn’t enough. Now we’re really behind the eight ball and we definitely have to win out.
On the 50 seconds in the second period…
There were two turnovers within a minute and they capitalized on it. That really deflated us for a little while then we got it going a little bit going into the third. By then it was just too late. It’s tough to come back on a team that’s playing real well right now with a really good goalie. We’ve got to learn from this and we have two tough games coming up. We just have to see what happens.
On needing help for the playoffs…
That’s the toughest thing to handle. Right now we have to focus on Detroit and get two points.
|PPG - Vernon Fiddler (11) ASST: Joel Ward (18)|
1 - 0 NSH
|Jonathan Toews (33) ASST: Brian Campbell (41)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Dustin Byfuglien (14) ASST: Andrew Ladd (33)|
2 - 1 CHI
|Patrick Kane (25) ASST: Martin Havlat (45)|
3 - 1 CHI
|Jason Arnott (30) ASST: Steve Sullivan (19), J-P Dumont (46)|
3 - 2 CHI
|EN - Martin Havlat (28) ASST: Patrick Kane (43)|
4 - 2 CHI
|J-P Dumont Roughing against Andrew Ladd|
|Andrew Ladd Roughing against J-P Dumont|
|Cam Barker Tripping against Radek Bonk|
|Ben Eager Slashing against Ryan Jones|
|Kevin Klein Tripping against Dustin Byfuglien|
|SA: 24||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 22||EV: 20 - 21|
|PIM: 0||PP: 2 - 3|
|SV%: .917||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 27||TOI: 59:00|
|Saves: 24||EV: 24 - 27|
|PIM: 0||PP: 0 - 0|
|SV%: .889||SH: 0 - 0|