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Blackhawks blow out Predators 7-2

Lehner made 39 saves and Kane extended his point streak to eight games with a goal and an assist.

Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

The Blackhawks redeemed themselves against the Predators blowing them out 7-2 Saturday at Bridgestone Arena.

Patrick Kane extended his point streak to eight games with a goal and an assist, Jonathan Toews picked up two assists, Alexander Nylander scored twice and Robin Lehner made 39 saves.

Defenseman Connor Murphy played 19:35 minutes in his return to Chicago’s lineup after a 11 game absence. He had one shot, three blocks and two takeaways.

How it Happened

Robin Lehner once again stood tall, stopping a flurry of Nashville shots early in the first period. The Blackhawks escaped the blitzkrieg and got their first shot on goal with 13:30 to go in the first period.

On the resulting faceoff, Toews won the draw back to Erik Gustafsson who stepped to his right and fired a high wrister through a Nylander screen to give Chicago a 1-0 lead:

It was Gustafsson’s second straight game with a goal after recording only four assists in his first 16 games this season.

Then two minutes later, the Predators flipped a dump in that took a weird bounce and almost eluded Lehner, but Duncan Keith swept the puck away before it could cross the goal line:

With 5:30 to go in the first period, the Predators had a 3-on-2 that was broken up by a sprawling Murphy who was able to block Nick Bonino’s high danger chance. It’s nice to have him back.

Dominik Kubalik gave the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead later in the opening period after Kirby Dach stole a breakout pass from Matt Irwin. Dach snapped a pass to Kubalik all alone in front who went forehand, backhand and then five-hole on Pekka Rinne:

Two minutes into the second period, Kane picked up the puck behind the net and found Seabrook open in the high slot. Seabrook threw a soft backhander towards Rinne who wasn’t expecting it and the Blackhawks extended their lead to 3-0. With the primary assist, Kane extended his point streak to eight games.

Then with 8:30 to go in the second period Kampf stole a pass behind the net and whipped a backhand breakout pass to Kubalik who started a 3-on-2 rush into the offensive zone with Andrew Shaw and Olli Maatta. Shaw passed it to Maatta on the opposite side of the slot who then set up Kampf in the high slot for a one-timer to give the Blackhawks a 4-0 lead:

Rinne was pulled following Kampf’s goal and Juuse Saros took over in the crease.

As expected, the Predators pushed the pace from the drop of the puck in the third period. Their defensemen started joining the rush, which opened up the game with scoring chances back-and-forth.

Roman Josi got one back for Nashville when he slapped home a rebound to make it 4-1 with 16:20 left in the game.

Then the Blackhawks buried three straight goals. Kane sniped a DeBrincat pass top shelf on the short side, Nylander tapped in perfect backdoor pass by Toews and then wristed his second goal of the game far-side after a puck battle won by Saad down low.

With 1:08 left in the third period Josi sneaked a shot through Lehner and picked up his second goal of the game.

Chicago is rolling right now and are 5-1-2 in their last eight games. They’re only three points out of a wild card spot.

Game Charts

Puck possession game flow (5-on-5)
Natural Stat Trick
Shot heat map (All situations)
Natural Stat Trick

Three Stars

1. Robin Lehner (CHI) - 39 saves on 41 shots, 7 high-danger saves

2. Alexander Nylander (CHI) - 2 goals, screened Rinne on Gustafsson’s goal

3. Connor Murphy (CHI) - 19:35 TOI, 3 blocks, 2 takeaways

What’s next?

The Blackhawks host the Sabres on Sunday at the United Center.