<
>

Rapid Reaction: Predators 3, Hawks 2

CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Nashville Predators' 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on Friday.

How it happened: The Predators’ first shot on goal didn’t come until 9 minutes, 18 seconds of the first period, but they got going after that. Mike Fisher and Patric Hornqvist each scored off rebounds in the frame to put the Predators ahead 2-0. Jonathan Toews scored late to trim the Blackhawks' deficit in half.

Ryan Ellis gave the Predators a two-goal lead again when he finished a breakaway 45 seconds into the third period. Peter Regin then redirected a shot from Johnny Oduya to cut Nashville's lead to one at 8:32 of the third period. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 26 saves; Predators counterpart Pekka Rinne made 31.

What it means: Chicago's division struggles continued with Friday’s loss. The Blackhawks fell to 9-11-3 in the Central; they were 16-1-1 in the division last season. The Blackhawks dropped to 38-15-14 overall on the season and 3-4 since the Olympic break.

The Colorado Avalanche continue to lead Chicago by one point for second place in the Central; the Avalanche lost to the Anaheim Ducks 6-4 on Friday. Scoring has been a problem for the Blackhawks in recent games; they’ve been held to two goals or fewer in seven of their past nine games.

Player of the game: Predators defenseman Roman Josi had three assists, including two primary ones.

Stat of the game: Toews won 19 of 23 faceoffs.

What’s next: The Blackhawks remain at home and host the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. The Red Wings defeated the Blackhawks 5-4 in Detroit on Jan. 22.