By Amanda DiPaolo
The Chicago Blackhawks were looking for revenge after blowing a two-goal lead Saturday night and they got it on the strength of four third period goals. Just 24 hours after losing in a shootout to Nashville by a 3-2 score, the Blackhawks doubled the Predators 6-3.
JP Dumont celebrating with Weber and Ward after scoring Sunday night in Chicago (Associated Press)
Anders Lindback got the start in goal for Nashville. His record is now 10-4-2. Marty Turco picked up the win. His record improves to 10-10-2. Turco’s numbers against Nashville are an impressive 13-6-3.
The Predators opened the scoring early in the first period after Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews took a penalty on his first shift of the game 19 seconds into the first period. With just 11 seconds left on the power play, Marty Erat picked up the rebound of a Cody Franson bullet from the point and was able to find the back of the net at 2:04 of the first period. The goal was Erat’s sixth of the season.
The lead was shortlived when the Blackhawks tied the game at 6:38 of the first period. Dave Bolland scored his 8th goal of the season when he tapped in the puck on the glove side of Lindback. Bolland took the feed from Bryan Bickell who stole the puck from Kevin Klein along the boards.
Shea Weber was called for holding less than a minute after the Blackhawks tied the game but the power play only lasted 12 seconds. Just 7:30 minutes into the game, Francis Bouillon was boarded by Troy Brouwer. Bouillon left the game with an upper-body injury and did not return. Brouwer went to the box, but Nashville was unable to capitalize on the four-on-four or on their shortlived power play.
Nashville got two more power play opportunities in the first period. Duncan Keith was called for holding Joel Ward with 6:25 left to play. JP Dumont gave the Predators a 2-1 lead on the man advantage when he picked up a rebound off a Weber blast from the point that was right in front of Turco and shot the puck into the empty net with the Blackhawks goalie out of position. It was Dumont’s fifth goal of the season.
With the assist, Weber extends his points streak to a career high nine consecutive games.
The penalties kept getting called throughout the game. The Predators got their fifth and sixth power play opportunities of the night during the second period. Brian Bickell went to the box for hooking, Brent Seabrook sat for cross-checking.
Having already scored two power play goals on the night, Nashville was unable to generate any additional offense on the man advantage.
Dave Bolland tied the game up when he scored his second goal of the game at 11:58 of the middle frame. David Legwand tried to pass the puck to Weber but it was intercepted by Chicago creating the turnover that allowed for Bolland to go in all alone on Lindback.
The Blackhawks outshot the Predators 17-5 in the final 20 minutes but it was Nashville scoring early in the third period. Chris Mueller won the faceoff draw, and Dumont stepped in and unleashed a slap shot that found the back of the net at 3:45 into the final frame. It was Dumont’s sixth of the season and second of the night. Chicago took control of the game after the third Predators goal and never gave it back.
With Suter in the box for holding Patrick Sharp, Troy Brouwer tried the game at 9:19 into the third period when he knocked in a rebound off a shot that Duncan Keith took from the point.
The Blackhawks power play is ranked first in the League connecting 24.7 percent of the time.
Just 40 seconds after Brouwer tied the game he scored again to give Chicago a lead they would not let slip away. With Toews screening Lindback, Brouwer was able to get a shot off from the point that beat the rookie netminder. The goals were Brouwer’s 12th and 13th of the season.
Bryan Bickell and Jonathan Toews also picked up goals to give the Blackhawks the 6-3 win.
The Predators still have five games to play on their current road before returning to Music City. Nashville now goes to Phoenix to play the Coyotes. The desert dogs have won their last four games but play Monday night against San Jose. Tuesday night’s game will be the second of back-to-back games for Phoenix.
Additional Game Notes:
Six goals against Nashville in one game is this season’s high.
Sunday night, the Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks played for the fifth time this season, second time in two nights. The season series has Nashville with three wins and two losses.
With Bouillon not playing most of the game, Suter and Weber saw increased ice time. Suter led the team with 32:43 minutes. Weber played 29:40 minutes.
Matt Halischuk made his debut with the Predators after having been called up from Milwaukee. The former New Jersey Devil’s prospect played 9:48 of ice time and was a plus one on the night.
Chris Mueller’s assist on Dumont’s second goal was his first NHL point of his career.
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