04/17 23:45 CDT Predators beat Blackhawks 6-2, even series at 1 game each
Predators beat Blackhawks 6-2, even series at 1 game each
By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) --- Craig Smith scored the first two playoff goals of his
career and added an assist, and the Nashville Predators beat the Chicago
Blackhawks 6-2 Friday night to tie their Western Conference opening-round
playoff series at a game apiece.
The Predators won for the first time since clinching a postseason berth on
March 28. Pekka Rinne made 24 saves for the win and even had an assist.
Filip Forsberg had a goal and an assist, and Colin Wilson, Roman Josi and Mike
Santorelli each scored a goal. Nashville lost captain Shea Weber to a
lower-body injury nearly midway through the second period.
Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane scored for Chicago, which is chasing its third
Stanley Cup trophy in six years. Corey Crawford, yanked after one period in
Game 1, gave up three goals in 2 minutes, 19 seconds in the third period as
Nashville turned a tight game into a rout late.
Game 3 is Sunday in Chicago.
With NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in the stands, he got to see another packed
arena in Nashville with Predators fans keeping the Chicago faithful way
The Predators felt like they only needed to make a few tweaks to their game
after outshooting and outhitting Chicago in Game 1. They jumped on the
Blackhawks from the start, picking up their first man-advantage 61 seconds into
the game. Wilson, who scored two goals Wednesday night, roofed a wrister over
Crawford's shoulder for the power-play goal.
Chicago managed only one shot midway through the first, but managed to tie it
at 1 when Sharp lifted the puck over a sprawling Rinne at 16:13. But Josi
scored on a wrister with 3.6 seconds left in the period for a 2-1 lead.
On the ensuing faceoff, the teams scrapped, with roughing penalties handed out
to Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell of Chicago and Paul Gaustad and Taylor Beck of
Nashville. Gaustad hadn't been out of the box long when he drew a double-minor
for high-sticking Michal Rozsival, catching the Chicago defenseman with his
stick after pushing him away.
Gaustad is one of Nashville's big penalty killers, and he got help from Rinne
getting just enough of Sharp's slap shot late to deflect it off the crossbar.
Replay showed six Blackhawks on the ice during a line change when Kane managed
to get the puck alone and tie it with his wrister from the left circle slipping
under Rinne's glove midway through the period. Nashville coach Peter Laviolette
yelled at officials over the missed call.
Weber apparently got hurt when he was checked at the boards by Chicago forward
Brandon Saad, knocking the 6-foot-4 defenseman to the ice. Weber went to the
bench and went straight to the locker room favoring his right leg. The
Predators took back the lead at 14:54 on a wrister by Smith from in front a few
Nashville thought it padded its lead in the minutes of the third when Calle
Jarnkrok scored, but officials waved it off immediately for Predators forward
Mike Santorelli cross-checking Crawford from behind to the ice.
Forsberg got the scoring started with his first career playoff goal unassisted
from the edge of the crease at 12:41 of the third. Smith followed with his
second on a breakaway, then Santorelli scored at 15:00 keeping fans on their
NOTES: The Predators are 2-7 in Game 2s in their playoff history. ... Crawford
is 13-11 in first-round games. ... Sharp has 39 playoff goals in his career,
and Kane scored his 38th. ... Chicago center Antoine Vermette was a healthy
scratch for a second game.