Viktor Stalberg raced ahead of the Predators defense in overtime on Monday and buried the game-winning goal against Pekka Rinne to lift the Blackhawks to a 5-4 victory over the Nashville Predators at the United Center. It’s the B'Hawks' third victory in their last four games.
Patrick Kane controlled on-ice action from start to finish. The newly-minted center scored in the first and the third and assisted on Nick Leddy’s second period goal.
The ’Hawks out-shot the Predators 35-28. Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne was occasionally spectacular, and deserves better than the crooked number that will ruin his save percentage. Had Rinne not been on top of his game, the ’Hawks maybe have hung seven or eight goals on Nashville.
With the score tied at 2 late in the second period, forward Patric Hornqvist scored a powerplay to give the Predators a 3-2 lead heading into the third period at the United Center. The goal was set up by Ryan Suter and goalie Pekka Rinne and was Hornqvist’s second score of the night and fourth of the year.
The first goal of the second period came when Predators rookie Craig Smith found the back of the net. Assists went to Martin Erat and Niclas Bergfors on Smith’s fourth goal of the year.
The ’Hawks would soon answer back. Patrick Kane took the puck around the net and found Nick Leddy for his second goal of 2011.
Rinne has made some fantastic saves for Nashville thus far, including a stop on a Marian Hossa bullet in the second period. The Predators have out-shot the ’Hawks 20-14 through two periods.
The Blackhawks’ dynamic offense struggled throughout the first period against the always feisty Nashville defense, but a late Patrick Kane goal tied the game at 1 after the first period.
Nashville got the scoring started extra early when Corey Crawford misplayed a puck behind the net. Patric Hornqvist would bury his third goal of the season with the ’Hawks goalie badly out of position.
Chicago wasn’t without its chances. The ‘Hawks had three powerplay opportunities but couldn’t convert. That makes it 0-11 over the last three games on powerplay chances for the ’Hawks.
Still, a Patrick Kane goal with just :49 remaining means we’re all tied at 1. Kane beat Preds goalie Pekka Rinne five-hole for his third score of the year.
Early statistical advantages go to Nashville across the board: the Preds have more shots, hits, and faceoffs won through the first period.