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game recap

Predators 4, Blackhawks 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:48 AM

Associated Press

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Predators 4, Blackhawks 1
Nashville Predators 4, Chicago Blackhawks 1

CHICAGO (AP) -Dan Ellis saw a lot of shots, and got plenty of support from his teammates.

Ellis made 34 saves, and Dan Hamhuis, Martin Erat and Jordin Tootoo each had a goal and an assist to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-1 win over Chicago on Friday night, snapping the Blackhawks' eight-game home winning streak.

Ellis, making just his second start in Nashville's last 12 games, was busiest in the first period when Chicago had 15 shots. Jonathan Toews scored midway through the period following a flashy stickhandling move.

"The 'D' did an awesome job of letting me see the puck," Ellis said. "It was a big game for us. We hung on until the end, got a big penalty kill and some goals to relieve the pressure."

Joel Ward also scored for the Predators.

Nashville was clinging to a 2-1 lead until goals by Tootoo and Ward 35 seconds apart late in the third period sealed it.

"Ellie played real well tonight," Tootoo said. "They took it to us with some excellent chances and he held us in. We had to be strong defensively."

For much of the game, however, Chicago wasn't able to generate many close chances and even fewer rebounds. When the Blackhawks did break through, they misfired or Ellis stopped them.

"We were trying to get some pucks to the net and hopefully get some rebounds," Chicago's Brian Campbell said. "We couldn't find a way to get there tonight."

Cristobal Huet made 19 saves for the Blackhawks.

"They (the Predators) checked well and they deserved the win," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "We had a lot more pucks at net early in the game and then we started to get to cute and the puck wasn't very friendly with us tonight."

Nashville, 13-4-1 in its last 18, closed to three points behind first-place Chicago in the Central Division. The Blackhawks are 9-2-1 in their last 12.

Toews, who a agreed to a five-year, $31.5 million contract extension on Thursday, opened the scoring midway through the first to cap a standout individual effort. After taking a pass at full speed at center ice, Toews streaked down the Nashville slot, beat Hamhuis with a stickhandling move and tucked a low shot past Ellis' outstretched right pad.

"Tonight we tried to overdo some things, especially after Jonathan scored," Campbell said. "We maybe thought it was going to come easy and that doesn't happen in this league."

Hamhuis tied it at 1 with 2:56 left in the period. His screened shot from the outer edge of the right circle slipped past Huet on the glove side.

Erat was credited with a deflected goal at 7:01 of the second that withstood a video review to put Nashville ahead 2-1. Tootoo turned and fired a shot from the left circle, and the puck banked in off Erat's left skate after he stopped at the edge of the crease.

The Blackhawks offense picked up again late in the third to generate several prime chances. Dustin Byfuglien and Patrick Kane misfired, however, on two of the best opportunities.

Tootoo and Ward scored late in the third period to break it open.

Tootoo connected from the slot with 2:03 left, then Ward was set up by Dave Legwand at the edge of the crease with 1:28 remaining.

NOTES: Nashville C Dave Scatchard missed his third game with an upper-body injury. ... Chicago D Jordan Hendry and Nashville RW Wade Belak were healthy scratches. ... The crowd of 20,887 was the Blackhawks' 65th straight sellout at the United Center.

POST-GAME QUOTES:
Head Coach Barry Trotz
“We knew Chicago would come at us hard, but we managed to weather the storm thanks to solid goaltending by Ellis. Chicago has a lot of talent, and they’re a tough team to go against, especially in this building. We tried to keep our game simple and we were able to keep it even after one. There’s a lot of parity in this league and you have to be ready every night.”

Goaltender Dan Ellis
“Chicago has a lot of talented players, and play a high-tempo offense. You have to elevate your game to match them. I was very fortunate in the first period on a couple of close plays, and my defense helped me out when I was in trouble.”

Forward Jordin Tootoo
“Everyone in this locker room contributed tonight, you have to sacrifice a lot against a team like Chicago, a team that you know is playoff-bound.”

scoring summary
1st Period
11:50
CHI
Jonathan Toews (7) ASST: Marian Hossa (3), Brent Seabrook (10)
1 - 0 CHI
17:04
NSH
Dan Hamhuis (2) ASST: Cody Franson (4), Cal O'Reilly (1)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
07:01
NSH
Martin Erat (5) ASST: Jordin Tootoo (6), Ryan Suter (10)
2 - 1 NSH
3rd Period
17:57
NSH
Jordin Tootoo (2) ASST: Martin Erat (7), Marcel Goc (2)
3 - 1 NSH
18:32
NSH
Joel Ward (5) ASST: David Legwand (10), Dan Hamhuis (7)
4 - 1 NSH
penalty summary
1st Period
09:38
CHI
Kris Versteeg  Roughing against  Dan Hamhuis
09:38
NSH
Dan Hamhuis  Roughing against  Kris Versteeg
2nd Period
01:17
CHI
Troy Brouwer  Tripping against  Kevin Klein
13:32
NSH
Dan Hamhuis  Holding against  John Madden
3rd Period
11:09
CHI
Dustin Byfuglien  Boarding against  Jerred Smithson
goalie stats
Dan Ellis
SA: 35TOI: 60:00
Saves: 34EV: 30 - 31
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .971SH: 1 - 1
Cristobal Huet
Cristobal Huet
13-6-2
SA: 23TOI: 60:00
Saves: 19EV: 15 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .826SH: 1 - 1

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