November 17, 2019 / 3:51 AM / 23 days ago

Blackhawks rip Predators to continue climb

EditorsNote: Tweaks stat in 5th graf

Nov 16, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Fans hold up their phones during a Hockey Fights Cancer tribute before the Nashville Predators game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, Alex Nylander scored twice in the third period and Robin Lehner stopped 39 of 41 shots to lift the visiting Chicago Blackhawks to a 7-2 rout of the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

Erik Gustafsson, Dominik Kubalik, Brent Seabrook and David Kampf also scored for Chicago, which climbed above the .500 mark for the first time this season while improving to 5-1-1 in its past seven games.

“The feeling is great around the room,” said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who had two assists. “We’ve got a bunch of good guys, a lot of character guys. It’s nice to win. Everyone’s having fun. ... We’re feeling like a really tight team right now. Guys know their roles, know what they can bring every night, and it’s good to see it all come together.”

Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne struggled throughout an abbreviated outing. The veteran allowed four goals on 14 shots in 31:39 of ice time. He was pulled after Kampf scored to give Chicago a 4-0 advantage with 8:21 remaining in the second period.

Rinne, who earned a 20-save shutout in Nashville’s 3-0 home victory against the Blackhawks last month, remained at 349 career victories. Juuse Saros stopped six of nine shots in relief, as Rinne was pulled for the second time in four games.

Lehner established the tone early, turning aside all 12 Nashville shots in the first period.

Nashville brought early, consistent pressure, but Lehner’s stout play helped first-period goals from Gustafsson and Kubalik stand up before the Blackhawks added to their advantage.

The Predators fell to 1-3-2 in their previous six games. Roman Josi’s goal 3:40 into the third period brought Nashville within 4-1. Chicago responded to take a 7-1 lead before Josi added another tally with 1:08 to play.

Nashville outshot Chicago 41-24.

Chicago defenseman Connor Murphy returned to the lineup after missing 11 games with a groin injury. Kane assisted on Seabrook’s goal early in the second period to extend his points streak to eight games.

—Field Level Media

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