The Predators returned back to the United Center to face the Blackhawks for the first time since shutting them out and sweeping them in the first round of last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Roman Josi and Yannick Weber were not a part of the lineup against the Hawks which gave Anthony Bitetto and SamuelGirard the chance to play.
About four minutes into the first period, Viktor Arvidsson had a shorthanded breakaway chance but his backhand went high wide of the net. The Blackhawks have outscored their opponent 11-1 in the first period, but were unsuccessful against the Predators and Pekka Rinne. Each team had two power play opportunity as well as some shorthanded scoring chances.
At the beginning of the second period, Anthony Bitetto was given two penalties for boarding and roughing. Throughout the period, multiple Predator shots were not able to get past Corey Crawford. With 2:06 remaining in the second period, Jan Rutta got called for tripping against Filip Forsberg. Just 22 seconds into the Predators power play, Filip Forsberg scored with a backhand from Scott Hartnell’s redirection which gave the Predators the 1-0 lead. That power play goal was Filip Forsberg’s 4th power play goal, and 5th goal of the season.
Nashville was able to get a power play early in the third period, but they were not able to convert to make it 2-0. However, with just 5:36 remaining in regulation, Patrick Sharp ripped a backhander past Pekka Rinne’s blocker which tied the game at 1. The controversy with this goal is that seconds before Sharp scored, Ryan Hartman ripped Matt Irwin’s stick out of his hands and threw it behind him. This made Irwin incapable of being able to get to Sharp to block the shot. Pekka Rinne, however, was able to go 174:24 without having to listen to Chelsea Dagger.
With goals from Forsberg and Saad, this game went into overtime. The Predators were unable to get a shot on goal throughout the whole 3:05 they had before Brandon Saad scored with a backdoor pass from Patrick Kane to give the Blackhawks the win. This goal was Brandon Saad’s 6th of the year.
The Predators were unsuccessful on continuing their shutout record in the United Center after last years playoffs as they lost 2-1. They were able to obtain a point from this trip. Nashville will be back home in Smashville on Tuesday to play the Colorado Avalanche at 7:00 pm.