Sunday, March 25, 2012

Predators demoralize Blackhawks in 6-1 win

The Nashville Predators may have played one of their more solid all round efforts of the season as they totally their devastated their divisional rival, the Chicago Blackhawks with a 6-1 win at the United Center on Sunday night.

In a rare national television appearance, even the expert commentators gushed about the performance of the Predators and the dominance they showed at both ends of the ice.

Nashville's goals came from a host of Predators including Matt Halischuk, Andrei Kostitsyn, Patric Hornqvist, Frankie Bouillon, Shea Weber, and Mike Fisher. Fisher, Weber, Halischuk, and Hornqvist added assists for two point nights.

Alexander Radulov picked up an assist and was +2 to keep his point streak alive and led Preds offensive players in ice time at 20:37.

Pekka Rinne was rarely challenged in net stopping 24 of 25 Hawks shots and gave up a late goal to Viktor Stalberg in just missing a chance at a shutout. Corey Crawford gave up four goals on 15 shots before being replaced by Ray Emery who gave up a pair of goals on nine shots.

The Predators reclaimed fourth place, and home ice advantage, by moving past Detroit with 96 points. The Predators will travel to St. Louis where they will play the Blues on Tuesday night when Coach Barry Trotz will have a chance to pick up his 500th win as the Predators coach.

Make the jump for more detail from the game...

At The Puck Drop...

In Goal: Pekka Rinne (40-16-8, 2.43, .922) versus Corey Crawford (27-16-5, 2.75, .904).

Scratches: Predators - Marty Erat, Craig Smith, Bryan McGrattan, Colin Wilson, Jack Hillen Roman Josi, and Jack MacLellan. Blackhawks - Duncan Keith, Marcus Kruger, Jonathan Toews, Sami Lepisto, and Jimmy Hayes

First Period...

At 4:56, Brandon Bollig and Jordin Tootoo squared off and drew fighting majors in a scrap that sent Tootoo to the dressing room for repairs at the conclusion. He was not able to return to the game.

The Predators took a 1-0 lead at 6:16 when the Hawks left Halischuck open in the slot and he eased a shot past Crawford on a deflection off of a Chicago player. Brandon Yip and Paul Gaustad were alert with passes behind the net.

The Preds put the Hawks on the man advantage at 10:36 when Sergei Kostitsyn tripped Marian Hossa. Chicago did not get a shot on the power play.

Andrei Kostisyn put the Preds up 2-0 at 15:28 with a goal on a defection off of Brent Seabrook when Patric Hornqvist, and David Legwand set up the play through the neutral zone.

Brandon Yip put the Hawks back on the power play at 16:32 when he slashed Michael Frolik. Chicago was again held shotless but Dave Bolland dit hit the post at 18:26.

As the period wound down, Chicago had a excellent scoring chance with a second left but the Preds broke up the play.

1st Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        2        8        10       3-9:00 12-14 46%
Blackhawks             0        11        22       1-5:00 14-12 54%

Second Period...

The Preds had a great scoring chance at 2:39 when the Preds had a rush and Gaustad lost control but Halischuk almost picked up his second goal on a nice flip shot from the slot.

The Predators picked up their first man advantage opportunity of the game at 4:39 when Bolland was called for roughing Ryan Ellis. The NHL's number one power play unit scored on a confusing play off of a heavy bomb from the blue line from Shea Weber. The goal was initially credited to Radulov but changed to Hornqvist with Radulov getting the primary assist..

At 6:56, the Preds went back on the power play when Sean O'Donnell high-sticked Yip. Patrick Shark had a short-handed opportunity but Rinne made the save. Weber had the only shot on a scoring chance.

The Hawks got a puck into the net at 10:28 but the play was waived off due to the net being off its moorings.

Weber was called for interference on Patrick Sharp at 13:34 after the pair mixed it up on the ice. The Hawks finally got a power play shot but no goal.

Rinne got a little far from the net with 1:01 left in the period but he recovered in time to stop a Kane attempt on net.

2nd Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        1        6        14       2-4:00 12-10 55%
Blackhawks          0        6        20       1-2:00 10-12 45%

Third Period...

Bouillon scored a rare goal 2:00 into the final period when he fired a slapper from the blue line on a broken play off a pass from Ryan Ellis. The goal chased Crawford from the net and sent Emery into the game.

Hornqvist was called for slashing Nick Leddy at 3:57 on a rather weak call. The Preds held off the Hawks on the man-advantage. As the penalty expired, Stalberg put a wrister past Rinne for the Hawks lone goal of the evening.

At 6:34,  Mike Fisher won a face off and it went directly to Weber who unleashed his cannon into the Hawks net to regain the four goal advantage.

With time winding down at 17:33, Fisher drove a stake in the hearts of the Blackhawks with a goal on a two on one breakaway where he chose to just blow the puck past Emery who could not make a move on the shot.

3rd  Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        3        10        17       1-2:00 9-7  56%
Blackhawks           1         8        19       0-0:00 7-9  46%


Final     Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        6        24        41       5-13:00 33-29 53%
Blackhawks           1        25        61       3-9:00 29-33 47%

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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