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Blackhawks vs. Predators final score 2016: Nashville's late surge downs Blackhawks, 3-1

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THE BLACKHAWKS GOT ANDREW LADD!! But then lost to the Predators

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks played host to a Central Division rival on Thursday night, losing to the red hot Nashville Predators at the United Center by a score of 3-1. The Blackhawks fall to 6-7-1 in the 14 games since having their 12-game winning streak snapped, and its their second straight loss to a division rival.

The first period saw a lot of back and forth play with not too much happening. Both teams generated a few good scoring chances, each had a power play, and the Hawks drew iron with a few shots, but Corey Crawford and Pekka Rinne stood strong for their teams, and this one went to the first intermission still scoreless.

The second period went much the way of the first, with both teams getting some chances and neither side really dominating the play. Chicago got on the board first when Brent Seabrook one timed a beautiful pass from Jiri Sekac to open the scoring. The Predators would answer quickly, though, as Viktor Arvidsson lifted a tight quartered shot over Crawford's shoulder to even up the game. The game went to the third period tied at 1.

The closing frame went the same as its predecessors, both teams generating chances and swapping rushes. Crawford and Rinne were impressive, though, keeping the game tied for the majority of the period. Nashville started to control most of the play as the period wound down, and with just 1:51 remaining in the game, Calle Jarnkrok one timed a puck over past Crawford to take a 2-1 lead. The Blackhawks would pull Crawford right after the goal, and Mikka Salomaki iced the game with a long empty netter to make it 3-1.

The Blackhawks played well for most of this game, but just fell short at the end. Rinne stood on his head for the Predators, putting on a strong display in the midst of a rough season for him. If it wasn't for Rinne's strong performance, there's a good chance the Blackhawks win this game. The three day break after Sunday's embarrassing loss was clearly good for them, so hopefully they can carry this over into more strong performances down the stretch.

However, the Blackhawks were still without Marian Hossa tonight, and were also without newly acquired winger Andrew Ladd. With those guys drawing into the lineup in the coming days, this team will become a lot stronger and have more balance within the lineup. Those factors can be the difference when it comes to close games like this.

The Blackhawks next game is Sunday, when they will play host to Washington Capitals in a matchup of two of the NHL's best teams. That one's an early start, with puck dropped scheduled for 11:30 a.m. CT.

Adam Hess is a staff writer at Second City Hockey. You can follow him on Twitter at @_adamhess.