The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Nashville Predators 5-4 in overtime on Friday evening. The Hawks are right back at it tomorrow night when they complete their three game homestand against the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Hawks would get on the board early in the first period. Duncan Keith would score on the power play at 4:48. The goal was the first power play goal for the Hawks in the month of April. But the lead wouldn’t last long as Matt Halischuk scored his third goal of the season at 6:31. Kevin Henderson would score his first goal of the season at 10:42 to give Nashville the lead. But the Hawks weren’t done yet as Brandon Saad scored his tenth goal of the year at 13:36 to tie the game at 2. The Hawks outshot the Predators 15-8 in the first period.
In the second period, the Hawks would again outshoot the Predators by a 12-9 margin. This would give the Hawks a 27-17 edge in shots but the score would be tied after two periods. Patrick Kane scored his 21st goal of the season when he took a pass from Bryan Bickell and beat Pekka Rinne low at 9:20. But Halischuk would score his second goal of the night when he beat Corey Crawford at 12:31.
The third period would see the Nashville Predators dominate the play as they outshot the Hawks 10-2. However, the Hawks would go ahead again at 10:07. Michal Handzus would receive a gift along the side boards and rip a wrist shot to the far top corner over the stick of Rinne for his first goal as a Blackhawk. Yet once again, Nashville would tie the game. Bobby Butler pounced on a juicy rebound that was left out by Crawford and put it in the back of the net at 16:26. The game would go to overtime with the Hawks on a four minute power play after Richard Clune received a double minor for high sticking Marcus Kruger with 45 seconds remaining in the period.
In overtime, the power play would turn into a 4 on 3. The Hawks would load up with Keith, Jonathan Toews, Kane and Marian Hossa. At 52 seconds into overtime, Kane would find Hossa for a cross ice one timer that beat Rinne for the game winner and the Hawks second power play goal of the night.
What it means
The Hawks have now won seven straight and have gained a point in their last ten games going 9-0-1. With 5 games remaining, the Hawks are 34-5-4 and clinched the number one seed with Anaheim’s overtime loss on Wednesday. The Hawks have 72 points are the most in the NHL. They are 6 points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Presidents Trophy and both teams have 5 games remaining.
3 stars of the game
3. Matt Halischuk– Halischuk had a great game for the Predators. He was their leading scorer with 2 goals and 1 assist and was a plus three on the night. It was an all around night for Halischuk as he had four shots on goal, four hits and two blocked shots.
2. Jonathan Toews- The captain had another great game for the Hawks. He had 2 assists on the night and was a plus one. Toews had two shots on goal and two takeaways. The ace of faceoffs was in play as well as Toews won 14 of 23 faceoffs he took.
1. Duncan Keith- Keith was workhorse for the Hawks tonight as he led all skaters on the team with 24:55 in ice time. Keith had one goal and two assists. He played over three minutes on the penalty kill and blocked two shots.