Vinnie Hinostroza notched a goal and an assist Tuesday night while Anton Forsberg made 42 saves as the Chicago Blackhawks posted a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators at sold-out Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
Chicago started and ended the evening as the last place team in the Central Division, but remained only four points out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. It also handed Nashville just its fifth regulation loss at home this season.
Forsberg came up with 22 saves in the third period to guide the Blackhawks across the finish line, including five on the Predators’ only power play of the night. He also got some help from the goal post, which denied Austin Watson a potential tying tally about five minutes into the period.
Juuse Saros took the loss despite stopping 29 of 31 shots for Nashville, which saw its eight-game point streak end. It went 6-0-2 in that stretch after losing its first game of January in Vegas. The Predators dropped into a second place tie with St. Louis in the Central, three points behind first place Winnipeg.
Chicago opened the scoring at 3:02 of the first period after a giveaway by Saros. Tomas Jurco pilfered the puck and Hinostroza fed David Kampf in the right circle for a wrister over Saros’ right shoulder. It was the second goal this season for Kampf.
Nashville equalized just 2:12 into the second period when Forsberg matched Saros’ giveaway behind the Blackhawks’ net. Craig Smith took the puck and Scott Hartnell teed up Kyle Turris from behind the net. Turris slotted a wrister for his ninth goal of the season and his first in nine games.
Hinostroza restored a one-goal lead for Chicago at 14:33 of the second with his fifth goal. Patrick Kane started the play by absorbing a big hit from Miikka Salomaki and getting the puck to Nick Schmaltz. He set up Hinostroza for a one-timer from just above the right circle that beat Saros to the stick side.
--Field Level Media