Game Recap

Predators 2, Blackhawks 0

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:48 AM

Associated Press

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Predators 2, Blackhawks 0
Chicago Blackhawks 0, Nashville Predators 2

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators put it all together - at the Chicago Blackhawks' expense.

"Guys went to the net hard and battled," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "The power play came through. The penalty kill was good. We got good goaltending."

Rinne made 22 saves for his first shutout of the season and fifth overall, and Joel Ward scored on a second-period power play in Nashville's 2-0 victory Thursday night.

Jerred Smithson added a short-handed empty-net goal with 4 seconds left to help the Predators beat the Blackhawks for the first time in three games this season.

"You knew they were going to be hungry and desperate because the first two outcomes weren't in their favor," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "The difference was we didn't cash in on our opportunities."

Ward scored with 5:07 left in the second period. Francis Bouillon sent the puck in front of the net from the lower edge of the left faceoff circle, and Ward, stationed in front of the crease, redirected it past goalie Cristobal Huet.

"Every coach says that he wants his team to go hard to the net," Ward said. "It is important for us because of our lack of goals. We're missing Jason Arnott and Martin Erat in the lineup. We've just to to keep it simple and make things happen."

Nashville has won two straight and three of their last four games.

"We're getting lots of traffic and lot of pucks loose in the crease on the power play," Trotz said. "Our power play has come through the last couple of games.

"We're just pounding pucks, making good solid decisions and going to the hard areas. That's how you have to do it on the power play."

Pekka was coming off a 4-3 victory Wednesday night at Minnesota.

"It helps any team to get a goaltender on a roll," Trotz said. "Both Pekka and Dan Ellis have been fine."

NOTES: Chicago's Brent Seabrook was back in the lineup following what was believed to be concussion-related symptoms. ... Erat was scratched because of a lower-body injury. ... The Predators have scored a power-play goal in each of their last two games.

Post-Game Quotes
Head Coach Barry Trotz
On building momentum…
We’ve won three of our last four games. We’re making some strides. I’m really happy with this effort. Last night we got in late from a tough game in Minnesota. Guys really went to the net hard; they battled. We had a lot of chances.

On tonight’s game in general…
It was almost like three different games. I thought we really did a good job in the first period, got a lot of chances, a lot of zone time. In the second period they had a good portion of that, but we fought back at the end. The power play came through; the penalty killers were really good. It was just a lot of battle. We limited their shots, got good goaltending.

On Chicago’s 5-on-5 defense…
They defend well, they’ve got real good, strong defense, and they’ve got very quick forwards. They’ve been pretty stingy the last couple of years.

On the power play’s success…
We got lots of traffic, lots of pucks loose in the crease, that we can start converting more on. Our power play’s come through in the last couple of games for us. We’re just pounding pucks, making good solid decisions, going to the hard areas and we’re scoring goals. That’s how you have to do it on the power play.

On rebounding after a difficult stretch…
We’ve had a lot of adversity, but we’re fighting through it. Right now we’re working real hard, we’re drawing a lot of penalties, going to those hard areas and we’re starting to get rewarded for it.

On Nashville’s penalty killing…
We’re getting settled in a little bit. Guys are starting to get used to it. We didn’t kill a lot of penalties early [in the season], and then they started hitting nearly every one, and got us on our heels. A lot of effort, a lot of blocked shots – those are the things you need.

Goaltender Pekka Rinne
On picking up where he left on in last night’s game against Minnesota…
I’ve been feeling a little better and it’s a really good feeling.

On Chicago trying to score during the final minutes of the third period…
They are a really skilled team and they tried to make those backdoor plays and they were hoping for those second chances, but we did a really good job. We were fighting against the rebounds and if there was a loose puck, our defense was on it right away and it makes it easier for me that way.

On the strength of the penalty kill…
We have been playing really well on the penalty kill. In the past that has been our strength and we have to get that going and get better at the penalty kill because it’s a huge part of our game.

Forward Jerred Smithson
On playing Chicago on October 15 at home (last home game) and losing…
The locker room was very quiet after that game and we really wanted to get some smiles back on our faces. We wanted to go out there and play hockey and play hard. As long as we do that, we are going to get good results.

On taking the time to make sure he scored the empty netter…
Well, I think a few years ago I might have just taken a whack at it, and with my luck it would have missed the net. I just wanted to put it in the net.

On having a two-game goal-scoring streak…
Yeah, it is always fun (to score). I can be a defensive and hard-nosed guy so I want to try and contribute where I can and having the opportunity is always nice.

Forward Joel Ward
On wanting to take away Chicago’s offense…
Special teams is key and we wanted to take away as much of their space as possible.

On coach Trotz wanting the team to go hard to the net…
Every coach says that but it has been important, especially for us because of the lack of goals, so we’ve got to go to the net. Because we are missing Arnott and Erat in the lineup, we’ve just got to keep it simple and make things happen.

scoring summary
1st Period
2nd Period
PPG - Joel Ward (1) ASST: Francis Bouillon (1), J-P Dumont (6)
1 - 0 NSH
3rd Period
SHG - EN - Jerred Smithson (3) ASST: Dave Scatchard (2), Kevin Klein (1)
2 - 0 NSH
penalty summary
1st Period
Patric Hornqvist  Tripping against  Patrick Kane
Dustin Byfuglien  Hooking against  Mike Santorelli
Niklas Hjalmarsson  Tripping against  David Legwand
Dave Bolland  Slashing against  Steve Sullivan
2nd Period
Dan Hamhuis  Hooking against  Dave Bolland
Patric Hornqvist  Holding against  Colin Fraser
Cam Barker  Cross checking against  Dave Scatchard
Dan Hamhuis  Tripping against  Patrick Sharp
3rd Period
Tomas Kopecky  Cross checking against  Dan Hamhuis
Brent Sopel  Hooking against  Steve Sullivan
Patric Hornqvist  Interference on goalkeeper against  Cristobal Huet
Dustin Byfuglien  Unsportsmanlike conduct
Dustin Byfuglien  Misconduct (10 min)
goalie stats
Cristobal Huet
Cristobal Huet
SA: 27TOI: 58:04
Saves: 26EV: 9 - 9
PIM: 0PP: 17 - 18
SV%: .963SH: 0 - 0
Pekka Rinne
SA: 22TOI: 59:24
Saves: 22EV: 20 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: 1.000SH: 1 - 1 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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