Although not the worst loss this season, the Predators fell short of a win last night against the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime 5-4. Considering the Predators were banged and beaten physically Saturday night against the Ducks, the injury prone Preds managed to put up a great fight against the Central Division leaders. Let’s look at the details from last night in the Windy City:
- Patric Hornqvist was on his A-Game once again last night, scoring the first goal within the first 26 seconds of the game, with assists from David Legwand and Kevin Klein. Horny, as he is affectionately known, also scored within the first 14 seconds of the game on Saturday night against the Ducks. However, that first goal wasn’t the end of Horny’s run last night. He also scored the third goal in the 2nd, with help from Ryan Suter and goalie, Pekka Rinne.
- Left winger Ryan Thang, as we reported in an earlier post, was called up from Nashville’s minor league team the Milwaukee Admirals, to cover the injured. Although he did fairly well last night, Thang was resent to Milwaukee today, leading us to believe Sergei Kostitsyn will be ready to play Thursday night in Phoenix. However, after Thang’s performance last night, it is almost certain this will not be his first and last NHL appearance with the Predators.
- Rookie Craig Smith stepped up to bat last night (as usual) and he and Martin Erat worked together to send the Predators back in the lead. While Marty drew the defense towards him, Smith was waiting, wide open and scored within the first 6 minutes of the 2nd.
- The Blackhawks may have slipped away with the win during the 3rd, but David Legwand (with the help of Jordin Tootoo) tied the game up, inevitably sending the game into overtime.
- Penalty time came back to haunt the Predators tonight, with nine players taking penalties to the ‘Hawks 4. Craig Smith (holding), Blake Geoffrion (boarding), Francis Bouillon (delay of game – puck over glass), Jack Hillen (hi-sticking), David Legwand (tripping), Martin Erat (slashing), Jerred Smithson (roughing), Matt Halischuk (misconduct, 10 minutes), and last but not least Ryan Suter (slashing). With all of those penalties, it was a miracle the Preds weren’t blown away.
- In regards to the penalties, Pekka Rinne was on top of his game last night, “erasing” the penalties his fellow teammates took and keeping the Blackhawks from scoring heavily on the Preds. Pekka was able to block 30 shots in total, only letting 5 slip past. The Blackhawks lead the game in shots, 35 to the Preds 28.
- In today’s notes, Sergei Kostitsyn and Mike Fisher took the ice today during practice in Nashville, which is a good sign for both players. SK74 will more than likely play on Thursday night (due to the fact Thang was sent back to Milwaukee) and Fisher should be ready to return after the road trip (hopefully). Nick Spaling did not practice today, but from what we understand, he is not in a terrible position and should be able to return within a week or two.