The Chicago Blackhawks rolled to their third straight win by beating the Nashville Predators, 5-2, on Sunday night. Ryan Hartman was the star with his first career hat trick, which came in the final 10 minutes and included a pair of empty-netters.
The road to the Hartman’s hat trick began nearly 12 minutes into the third, after the puck bounced off of his hip past Pekka Rinne, to give the Hawks the 3-2 lead. After video review, it was ruled a legal goal, with Hartman getting credit for his eighth of the season. Tanner Kero earned an assist on the play, getting his first point for Chicago this season.
After the hat trick, Hartman now has 10 goals on the season, sitting in fifth for goals on the team. He’s also tied for fifth among all NHL rookies in goals scored behind Patrik Laine, Auston Matthews, Jimmy Vesey, and Anthony Mantha.
Adding to the Blackhawks’ victory, Artemi Panarin opened the scoring at the United Center, as a pass from Patrick Kane allowed him to beat Rinne shortside just 7:45 into the opening frame. The Blackhawks have now gone 16-5-2 when scoring first.
Niklas Hjalmarsson also scored for Chicago, getting credit for his fifth of the year, which is a career-high.
Goals from the Predators came from Mattias Ekholm and Austin Watson, with Mike Fisher getting credit for an assist on both of the goals. Despite countless chances for the Preds in the third period, they were unable to find the back of the net, as Corey Crawford stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced, extending his record this season to 15-8-3.
It may not have been the prettiest goal, but Ryan Hartman’s tally to take the 3-2 lead remained unanswered, leading Chicago to their 5-2 win. Nashville challenged the goal, which was the result of the puck bouncing off Hartman’s body, but video review confirmed that it was a legal goal.
SCH 3 Stars
1. Ryan Hartman, Blackhawks (3 goals)
2. Patrick Kane, Blackhawks (3 assists)
3. Mike Fisher, Predators (2 assists)
Play of the game
Wait for it... #HammerTime pic.twitter.com/OsbAInCiuK— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 9, 2017
With just under six minutes remaining in the first, Niklas Hjalmarsson’s shot from just above the blue line went through the legs of Artem Anisimov, soaring past Rinne to put the Blackhawks ahead by one heading into the second period.
The Blackhawks get a day off before hosting the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. CT.