Game Recap

Blackhawks 3, Predators 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:48 AM

Associated Press

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Blackhawks 3, Predators 1
Chicago Blackhawks 3, Nashville Predators 1
NASHVILLE, Tenn.(AP) -- Cristobal Huet and Chicago coach Joel Quenneville made it clear that the Blackhawks don't have a goalie controversy.

Huet made 12 saves in Chicago's 3-1 victory over Nashville on Thursday, a night after Antti Niemi started in the Blackhawks' 4-3 home win over Edmonton.

"He got a good win,'' Quenneville said. "He handled the puck well. I think it helped him and it helped us. There is no problem with Huet. I do not anticipate changing goaltenders.''

Huet said it was difficult to stay sharp with so few shots.

"There were a lot of tricky plays around the net,'' Huet said. "For the most part I felt good. I think the guys played a very complete game.

"It was important to get the win. I try not to be too down or to be too high. Games like this are challenging mentally, but they are good too. That means the team is playing hard in front of you.''

Dustin Byfuglien and Tomas Kopecky scored in a 28-second span early in the second period, Duncan Keith also scored, and Brent Seabrook added two assists.
Byfuglien scored on the power play at 2:21 of the second period. Seabrook blasted a shot off of the right post, and Byfuglien - stationed in front of the net - beat Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne off the rebound.

Kopecky then beat Rinne at 2:49.

Martin Erat answered for the Predators at 3:36 of the second period, with the puck bouncing off defender Niklas Hjalmarsson and past Cristobal Huet.

"Our bench could have wilted and said, `Here we go again,''' Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We skated and didn't stand around. We went after a very good team. We stayed with a pretty good structure.''

Keith scored at 7:07 of the third period, firing a one-timer from the top edge of the left circle that beat Rinne high to the left side.

"I think it has been a good team effort the last little while,'' Keith said. "Everyone is contributing. Huet played great. The defense played well. I think the forwards have been working well together.''

NOTES: Nashville's Steve Sullivan, a former Chicago player, was honored during pregame ceremonies with the presentation of the Bill Masterton Trophy. ... J.P. Dumont was back on the ice for Nashville for the first time since the season opener at Dallas. ... Cal O'Reilly played his first game for the Predators after being recalled from Milwaukee on Thursday. ... It was the Blackhawks' only road game in an eight-game span.

Post-Game Quotes
Head Coach Barry Trotz
On only tallying 13 shots on net…
They blocked a lot of shots, but we missed a lot. We hit posts; we had a three-on-one and missed the net; we had a back-door play that had an open net and Cal O’Reilly missed it. We had chances. A lot of the point shots never got through. They give up the fewest shots in the league right now, and they have the most shots for. This is not a bad hockey team that we played – this is one of the top hockey teams in the league.

On the Predators’ performance tonight…
For the most part, there were some positives – we came out really well. Getting through the first period was something big – it was something we hadn’t been able to do the last two games. We gave up the power play goal and then seconds later they scored again, but we actually responded really well and got a goal right away. When it was 2-1 we had three glorious chances to tie the game. We didn’t convert. The positives are that we skated, we didn’t stand around. We went after a very good team. We were starting to build on something. The past two games didn’t have much to build on.

On keeping the score close…
The last two games, everything that we did wrong instantly went in the net. We’d be down three or four goals just minutes into the game. It’s hard to recharge and get focused. Tonight we go through the first and then all of a sudden they got a power play goal five seconds after the draw was won. And then they score again 20 seconds later. Our bench could have wilted, but we didn’t – that’s a positive sign. When things aren’t going your way you almost have to play a perfect game. What we need to do is continue to stay with structure – and that’s the responsibility of the guys on the ice. We’ve got to make our own breaks. When we get a chance to convert, we’ve got to convert.

On how to create offense…
It starts with playing defense. We’re in the game if we can play good team defense. That’s where it starts. The offence will come from that. We’ve got to take care of both sides of the puck.

On the special teams’ performances…
One of the problems is that when you get a little bit frustrated you try to look for the perfect play. On the power-play we’ve got to do things with a little more quickness. There is a very short window that you can attack. We’re just hesitating.

On the penalty kill, it starts with A) getting in the shooting lanes; and B) we’ve got to do a better job boxing out, something that I consider to be a strength for us. Our defensemen aren’t as sharp as they need to be. Playing defense is not just the two defensemen – they need help from everybody on the ice.

On Cal O’Reilly’s performance…
Cal had some chances. I didn’t mind Cal at all. He hasn’t played a lot of wing, but he made plays and he’s got good awareness. I thought the switch was needed – Cal was playing well in Milwaukee, and Santorelli has to produce up here. We need more people contributing.

Forward Martin Erat
On scoring his first goal of the season in tonight’s game…
I did score a goal, but it’s not enough, we need to score more goals if we want to win games. We didn’t do it today and we just need to regroup and get some wins on the road.

On whether the team should concentrate more on their offensive or defensive game…
We need to think about both sides because we need to be good on both sides of the puck. The chances that we got, they just didn’t go our way and if we don’t score a goal, we need to be able to turn around and stop them from scoring.

Forward J.P. Dumont
On being able to rejoin the team tonight after his injury…
I’m feeling better and as a hockey player, you want to be involved. I’m glad that I was able to come back that quickly after being injured and help out my team.

On being able to diagnose why goals aren’t being scored…
It’s a little hard for me to say anything because I’ve been out for awhile. After watching the guys in the press box and from the TV, I’ve seen that the effort is there, it’s just that we don’t want to make any mistakes. If we don’t play our game, we have to step back and take a look at our game because if we are going to make a move, we want to make sure that it is the right one. Hockey is a game of reactions and we are going to make mistakes.

On Nashville only having 13 shots on goal tonight…
[Chicago] is a team that can be on the defensive very fast and they have a lot of big guys. It was kind-of their game. They don’t wait before they make plays and sometimes we take a step back before we make a move. I think that the effort was there tonight, though.

Forward Joel Ward
On what the team has to do to win games…
We have to keep firing pucks right now – that has to be our main focus.

On the team being afraid to make a mistake…
According to our last couple of games, we’ve lost by a few so again, we are being a little cautious. You have to try not to think about it too much, but at the same time, you just want to be safe and make the right play.

On being able to play his game…
I think that I am able to play my game, again it’s just one of those things where things are a little slow right now. We are just going to have to regroup, and focus on the road game ahead so that we can win some games.
scoring summary
1st Period
2nd Period
PPG - Dustin Byfuglien (4) ASST: Brent Seabrook (5), Brian Campbell (6)
1 - 0 CHI
Tomas Kopecky (1) ASST: Colin Fraser (1), Jack Skille (1)
2 - 0 CHI
Martin Erat (1) ASST: Ryan Suter (3), Shea Weber (2)
2 - 1 CHI
3rd Period
Duncan Keith (2) ASST: Jonathan Toews (4), Brent Seabrook (6)
3 - 1 CHI
penalty summary
1st Period
2nd Period
Francis Bouillon  Hooking against  Kris Versteeg
Dave Bolland  Hooking against  David Legwand
David Legwand  Interference on goalkeeper against  Cristobal Huet
Patrick Kane  Hooking against  Shea Weber
3rd Period
Dave Bolland  Interference against  Dan Hamhuis
goalie stats
Cristobal Huet
Cristobal Huet
SA: 13TOI: 60:00
Saves: 12EV: 10 - 11
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .923SH: 0 - 0
Pekka Rinne
SA: 30TOI: 59:00
Saves: 27EV: 27 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 1
SV%: .900SH: 0 - 0 is the official Web site of the Nashville Predators and are trademarks of the Nashville Predators.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Nashville Predators and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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