Preds thump Blackhawks 5-1


Image Source: Sanford Myers/Getty Images

While Blackhawks fans joke that Bridgestone Arena may as well be “United Center South”, the boys in gold had different plans last night as they welcomed in fellow Central Division team the Chicago Blackhawks to Nashville last night. The first meeting in Nashville this season, the Predators and Blackhawks’ first bout with one another since last season’s playoff run was Tuesday in Chicago. Excelling on home ice, the Blackhawks dismantled the Predators 4-1 while extending Patrick Kane’s point streak.

While Predators/Blackhawks games aren’t exactly the most enjoyable when they come to town for the Nashville fan, it seemed like the building belonged to its home fans well before the hockey teams hit the ice. I’d go as far to say that the Predators fans drowned out the opposing fans quite well, minus the occasional Hawks cheer here and there. While Blackhawks band-wagoners scoff at the fact that Predators fans get run out of the building when they come to town, it’s the obvious and overstated reminder that Nashville is still a fairly young team. We don’t have to do the math to say that one of the Original Six teams that was established in 1926 has more fans than a team founded in 1998. Who gives a flying you-know-what as to how many Cups you have? You have six and three of those were won within the last decade. It’s not that Nashville has a lack of fans; hockey has been around long before the NHL decided to place a national team here. Piss-ass drunk fans that thrive on being an embarrassment to society are what make Predators fans avoid the arena when Blackhawks fans come to town. Congrats on that achievement.

Moving onward, after the loss Tuesday night in Chicago, the Predators didn’t have to wait long for a rematch as the Blackhawks would arrive for their first match in Nashville this season last night.


  • James Neal launched the Predators in the right direction at 6:54 for his 11th goal of the season giving Nashville an early 1-0 lead over Chicago. Shea Weber (10) and Mike Ribeiro (13) notched the assists.
  • Craig Smith would make his move count at 15:56 for his 6th goal of the season with Viktor Arvidsson picking up his first assist.
  • Not even a minute later, Filip Forsberg would push Nashville up 3-0 with a power play goal. Heck, Paul didn’t even finish saying the word before Forsberg scored. It was pretty fantastic, really. Roman Josi (15) and Calle Jarnkrok (4) would notch the assists on Forsberg’s sixth goal of the season.
  • There was no denying who dominated the first period, but the question on everyone’s mind was would Nashville continue the momentum through the remaining forty minutes? Pekka Rinne looked like him old self despite having a few uncharacteristic games as of late. Though Chicago only managed seven shots on goal in the first period, they were all pretty stout.


  • Though no goals were scored in the second period, what was expected out of Chicago – for the most part – happened. They came out with more flames under their feet than Nashville did, but the Predators didn’t make the usual “second period funk” that they usually take. Chicago would out-shoot Nashville 13 to 8 in the second, but Pekka being Pekka and all…


  • At 5:43, Patrick Kane would “score” to not only put Chicago finally on the board, but extend his point streak to 24. Now, I am not one for conspiracies, but really… this was definitely goaltender interference. Any other time, I am almost willing to bet that goal would’ve been thrown out, but because Kane’s streak is involved… yeah, I do believe it. So sue me. I’m a fan, not a NHL employee.
  • Neal, on the other hand, extended Nashville lead to 4-1 at 14:55 for his second goal of the night and his 12th of the season. No assistance was needed for his Frosty goal.
  • And, in a last ditch effort to get Chicago in the game, Scott Darling was pulled to give the Blackhawks the extra man. Unfortunately for them, Eric Nystom has a way of hitting the empty nets (even when down a man on the penalty). Nystrom’s empty-netter + shorthanded goal is his fifth of the season. Like Neal’s second goal, no assistance was needed.

While Blackhawks fans filed out of the arena before the final horn could signify the victory in favor of the home team, Nashville was gaining a huge morale boost in this win (along with the points, of course). The players are not immune to the fact that Chicago is notorious for taking over the Bridgestone Arena. They take just as much pride in winning these games as the fans do.

With this victory under their belts, the Predators improve their record to 15-9-5 and now sit in third in the Central Division with 35 points (Chicago has 34 and St. Louis -2nd- has 36). Nashville currently sits fourth in the Western Conference.

The Predators welcome in the 12-16-1 Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, but don’t let that standing fool you. Just because the Avalanche are last in the Western Conference doesn’t mean they won’t come out kicking and screaming.

Preds hold lead early, fall to Blackhawks 5-4

Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America

So I asked the in the previous post (the Philadelphia one) as to who would be in net for Nashville tonight. Who is surprised it was Pekka again? Now, don’t get me wrong, if I had my way, Pekka would be half human/half machine and fully capable of handling a full 82-game season; no offense, Hutton. But alas, he is a mere mortal and needs a rest every now and then. However, there’s a good chance Rinne will not rest for tomorrow’s game either, as St. Louis is nipping at our heels as I type. Call me a worrier, but after losing him last season to that E. Coli hip, I have every reason to be nervous of his health. Though the Predators have gained strength under the leadership of Peter Laviolette, Pekka Rinne is still saving their butts more often than not.

Anywho, let’s discuss Chicago, who sits just two points ahead of Nashville for first in the Central Division. However, to discuss the bigger picture, it seems as if Anaheim is Nashville’s biggest threat thus far (when discussing the Cup); they are currently 24-8-6. So a night in the Windy City then back home to face the Blues? Giddy-up.

First Period:

  • Roman Josi got the party started at 11:50 in the United Center with a snap shot past Corey Crawford for his fifth goal of the season. Paul Gaustad tallies the lone assist.
  • Craig Smith pushed Nashville up 2-0 with a wrister at 17:12, his 11th goal of the season. Colin Wilson (9) and Mike Ribeiro (21) claim the assists.

Second Period:

  • James Neal picked up his 12th goal at 7:28 with a excellent tip-in with assistance from Colin Wilson (10) and Pekka Rinne (1). No, that isn’t a typo – Rinne, in fact, picked up the assist.
  • Brad Richards cut the Predators lead 3-1 at 10:33 with a slap shot past Rinne for his seventh goal of the season.
  • Chicago would then come within one of Nashville at 15:48 with a wrister from Andrew Shaw, his sixth of the season.
  • Just two minutes later, Chicago would tie it with slapshot from Marian Hossa on the power play, his eighth goal of the season.
  • With a power play goal of his own, James Neal gave Nashville the lead once again, his second goal of the night and 13th of the season. Filip Forsberg (21) and Roman Josi (17) collect the assists.

Third Period:

  • Sadly, at 18:47 with the extra attacker, Bryan Bickell sends a wrister past Rinne to tie the game, sending it into overtime.


  • No goals in overtime – to the shootout we go.


  • NSH – Ryan Ellis – MISS
  • CHI – Jonathan Toews – GOAL
  • NSH – Craig Smith – MISS
  • CHI – Patrick Kane – MISS
  • NSH – Filip Forsberg – MISS

And with that, the Nashville Predators fall 5-4 in the shootout and are now 24-9-3. As I have mentioned several times, the Predators take on the Blues tomorrow night at home. Luckily, the Blues may be just as exhausted as they, too have played tonight. However… they beat the Avalanche 3-0. Sheesh.

Preds break Chicago’s Heart with Win 3-2

Jordin Tootoo shows Nashville his love after the game on Tuesday.

The Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks aren’t exactly sweethearts, so for the two division rivals to come together on Valentine’s Day meant someone would be leaving the Bridgestone Arena with a broken heart. Both teams were coming into this game with a few losses under their belts, the Predators with three straight losses, the Blackhawks with an outrageous eight straight losses. Needless to say for the Blackhawks, a win in the Music City would be essential for their run for the playoffs, but the Predators don’t give up home games easily…
Here are the highlights from Tuesday’s game:


  • Jack Hillen and Brian McGrattan found no love on Tuesday night, with both players being scratched for the game. Patric Hornqvist was also scratched due to an upper-body injury.
  • Both teams came out strong in the first, putting pressure on both goalies. Ryan Suter got the ball rolling late in the 1st period with a snap shot at 18:20, his seventh goal of the season. He was assisted by Sergei Kostitsyn and Mike Fisher.
  • Chicago didn’t give the Predators a chance to celebrate though as Bryan Bickell sent a wrist shot passed Pekka Rinne, his sixth goal of the season. The Predators and Blackhawks ended the first period tied 1-1.
  • The 2nd period was relatively quietly until late at 17:21 with a tip-in from Nick Spaling, his eight goal of the season. He was assisted by Ryan Ellis and Jordin Tootoo.
  • Marian Hossa made sure to make the Predators sweat in the third period, with a wrist shot at 6:05, his 21st goal of the season.
  • Rookie Ryan Ellis silenced the Blackhawks at 14:18 with a slap shot passed Ray Emery, his third goal of the season. He was assisted by veteran David Legwand.
  • Pekka was on his A-Game once again, blocking 30 of 32 shots on goal. No power play goals were allowed during this game, but both the Predators and the Blackhawks gave each other plenty of opportunities. Here are the three culprits on the penalty box:
  1.  Mike Fisher – 3:51 1st Period – Hooking
  2. Martin Erat – 9:03 1st Period – Holding
  3. Roman Josi – 13:50 2nd Period – Tripping


The Predators end their three-game losing streak with the 3-2 win over the Blackhawks, extending Chicago’s losing streak to nine. The Predators will take two days off and head North to the Motor City to take on another Western Conference foe, the Detroit Red Wings on Friday at 6:30PM.

Until then,

Predators blast the Blackhawks 5-2

The Predators with their first win over the Blackhawks this season.

The Predators welcomed Central Division rival (for the first time this season) the Chicago Blackhawks into Smashville tonight before a sold-out crowd, the 15th for the Predators. Although the crowd was about 55% Preds fans, 45% Blackhawks fans, the Predators didn’t seemed too phased by the large amount of red throughout the arena. With Chicago being 4th in the league (3rd in the division) and the Predators being 8th (4th in the division), a win over Chicago would be a huge boost for the Predators. And, in true Predators form, Nashville whipped the Blackhawks 5-2 in regulation. Here are the highlights from tonight’s game:


  • A surprising scratch tonight was Matt Halischuk, who was given the night off for new kid Brandon Yip to hit the ice for the first time as a Predator. Brian McGrattan was also scratched for the night and, as expected, Ryan Suter is still out due to an upper-body injury.
  • Marián Hossa gained the first goal of the night, putting Chicago up over the Predators at 15:05 with a nice backhand shot. However, the Predators fans didn’t have to wait long for the home team to respond…
  • At 17:19, Craig Smith chipped a nice wrist shot passed Corey Crawford on the power play, his 10th goal of the season. He was assisted by both Ryan Ellis and Sergei Kostitsyn. There’s a good reason why Nashville is 2nd in the league on the power play.
  • Kevin Klein wasted hardly any time during the second period, sending the Predators up 2-1 with a wrist shot. He was assisted by both David Legwand and Gabriel Bourque and this is his 3rd goal of the season.
  • The Predators continued to dominate in the second period, with a wrist shot goal from Colin Wilson at 11:14, his 9th goal of the season. He was assisted by David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist.
  • Sergei Kostitsyn, who was denied a goal earlier in the game, finished up the second period with a wrist shot at 16:03. This was SK74’s 12th goal of the season and has a 27.3% shooting percentage. Also, a side fun fact, Sergei is the only player this season to score two Frosty goals. He was assisted by Mike Fisher and Martin Erat.
  • Marián Hossa scored his second goal of the game (20th for the season) at just 48 seconds into the 3rd period, making Preds fans wonder if the Blackhawks would try to redeem themselves in the third.
  • However, Patric Hornqvist renewed faith with a nice slap shot at 3:08, his 13th goal of the season. It looked like at first Kevin Klein had sealed the goal, which would have made for his first multi-goal in a game. However, after it was rewarded to Klein, it was soon given to Hornqvist. Maybe next time, Klein!
  • The Predators out-shot the Blackhawks by only one shot, 23 to 22 and Pekka Rinne was able to block all but two. After allowing four goals, Corey Crawford was pulled and replaced by Ray Emery (Yea, he played for Anaheim last season…). Emery blocked four of five shots during the third, but it just wasn’t enough to save the Blackhawks in Smashville.
  • There weren’t many penalties during this game, with the Predators only giving the Blackhawks one power play chance. The Blackhawks, however, gave the Predators two chances, one of which the Predators capitalized on. Here is our one Predator who faced the penalty box:
  1. Jack Hillen – 14:08 3rd Period – Roughing
  • Francis Bouillon was injured during the first period and left the ice for the remainder of the game. According to Head Coach Barry Trotz, Bouillon’s injury does not look serious, but there’s no way of truly telling. We are hoping this upper-body injury does not involve a concussion again. There is a good chance someone will be called up from Milwaukee due to Bouillon’s injury, and it could possibly be Jonathon Blum. Time will tell.

With this win over the Chicago Blackhawks, the Predators are now 9-2-2 against the Central Division and are now 28-16-4 on the season. The Predators have Sunday off, but welcome the Columbus Blue Jackets into Nashville on Monday night. The Predators will then take on Chicago once again on Tuesday night in Chicago.

Thanks for coming down, Chicago! We’ll see you Tuesday!

Until then,