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Chicago
Blackhawks
20-43-11-8
Nashville
Predators
38-29-11-4

game recap

Chicago Blackhawks 2, Nashville Predators 5 FINAL

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Chicago Blackhawks 2, Nashville Predators 5 FINAL
Chicago Blackhawks 2, Nashville Predators 5

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ The Nashville Predators didn't panic after slipping to ninth place and out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

They just relaxed.

David Legwand had a goal and two assists with Vladimir Orszagh and Martin Erat each adding a goal and an assist, and the Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 Tuesday night to keep alive their bid for the franchise's first playoff berth.

The victory pushed Nashville to 87 points and back into the eighth spot in the Western Conference after Edmonton's 1-0 loss to St. Louis. Edmonton also has 87 points, but the Predators have 36 victories with three games left compared to 35 wins and two games to go for Edmonton.

``You can see the light at the end of the tunnel,'' said Nashville forward Scott Walker, who also scored a goal. ``But it's an emotional roller coaster you go through wondering if you're going to make it.

``It's been emotional. But we obviously take care of ourselves, and we'll be fine.''

Adam Hall added a goal each for Nashville.

Tuomo Ruutu scored both goals for Chicago, winless in six games.

The Predators snapped their own five-game winless skid at home with their first victory here since beating the New York Rangers 2-1 on Feb. 28. And they did it with a dominating performance in their first game after slipping to ninth place after an Edmonton victory Sunday.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz said the Predators talked Tuesday morning about how to deal with the pressure of this playoff race by forgetting about everyone but themselves.

``We've put a lot of internal pressure on ourselves to do what we set out to _ to try to make the playoffs,'' Trotz said. ``We want to do it for the fans. We want to do it for each other, for upstairs, for (owner) Craig Leipold, for everybody.

``We said, `Let's just play. Have fun. You've got to live this time.' ``

Nashville took the first seven shots of the game and led 2-0 as Orszagh scored on a one-timer 35 seconds into the game off an assist from Erat who then got his 16th at 6:16 past a sprawling Jocelyn Thibault.

The Predators blew a 2-0 lead in losing in overtime 3-2 to Columbus on Saturday. They didn't let that happen against Chicago as they beat the Blackhawks for the first time this season after going 0-3-1-0 in this series.

By the time Ruutu scored Chicago's only goal at 18:48 of the second on a power play, that cut Nashville's lead to 4-1. Ruutu added his second in the final seconds of the game.

The Blackhawks can't wait for Thursday night when Nashville visits for the final game between the teams this season. They got only two power-play opportunities compared to seven for the Predators.

``I'm looking forward to Thursday,'' Chicago coach Brian Sutter said. ``You can write it.''

Legwand, recently demoted from the first line for lack of production, scored his 17th at 11:58 of the second when he skated into the slot and put back a rebound of Erat's shot from near the blue line for a 3-0 lead. Orszagh helped make it 4-0 when he grabbed the puck near mid-ice, skated up the left boards and passed to Hall from the left circle, and Hall easily beat Thibault.

Nashville outshot the Blackhawks 35-26. But the Predators didn't solve all their offensive problems as they went 0-for-7 on the power play and now are just 1-for-36 with the man advantage in the past seven games.

scoring summary
1st Period
00:35
NSH
Vladimir Orszagh (16) ASST: Martin Erat (32)
1 - 0 NSH
06:16
NSH
Martin Erat (16) ASST: Marek Zidlicky (38), David Legwand (28)
2 - 0 NSH
2nd Period
11:58
NSH
David Legwand (17) ASST: Martin Erat (33), Dan Hamhuis (18)
3 - 0 NSH
17:15
NSH
Adam Hall (12) ASST: Vladimir Orszagh (20), David Legwand (29)
4 - 0 NSH
18:48
CHI
PPG - Tuomo Ruutu (20) ASST: Bryan Berard (33), Tyler Arnason (32)
4 - 1 NSH
3rd Period
14:45
NSH
Scott Walker (25) ASST: NONE
5 - 1 NSH
19:46
CHI
Tuomo Ruutu (21) ASST: Eric Daze (6)
5 - 2 NSH
penalty summary
1st Period
07:10
NSH
Adam Hall  Hi-sticking against  Jason Strudwick
10:03
CHI
Ryan Vandenbussche  Cross checking against  Jordin Tootoo
10:03
CHI
Ryan Vandenbussche  Fighting (maj) against  Jim McKenzie
10:03
NSH
Jim McKenzie  Fighting (maj) against  Ryan Vandenbussche
13:52
CHI
Jason Strudwick  Unsportsmanlike conduct
13:52
CHI
Mark Bell  Fighting (maj) against  Jordin Tootoo
13:52
NSH
Jordin Tootoo  Fighting (maj) against  Mark Bell
19:26
CHI
Jim Vandermeer  Cross checking
2nd Period
02:09
CHI
Larry (Burke) Henry  Roughing against  Adam Hall
13:58
CHI
Bryan Berard  Interference against  Mark Eaton
17:46
NSH
Martin Erat  Holding
3rd Period
05:02
CHI
Scott Nichol  Fighting (maj)
05:02
CHI
Jim Vandermeer  Roughing
05:02
CHI
Jim Vandermeer  Fighting (maj)
05:02
NSH
Scott Walker  Fighting (maj)
05:02
NSH
Marek Zidlicky  Fighting (maj)
15:37
CHI
Ryan Vandenbussche  Hooking - Obstruction
goalie stats
Jocelyn Thibault
SA: 35TOI: 60:00
Saves: 30EV: 24 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 6
SV%: .857SH: 0 - 0
Tomas Vokoun
SA: 26TOI: 60:00
Saves: 24EV: 23 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 1
SV%: .923SH: 1 - 1