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RECAP: Predators 5, Blackhawks 2

Rapid reaction, links to interviews and more from the Blackhawks loss in Nashville to the Predators

by Chris Wescott / chicagoblackhawks.com

RAPID REACTION: Another slow start doomed the Blackhawks in Nashville as the Predators opened up a multi-goal lead early and never trailed in a 5-2 Chicago loss.

The Predators made no mistake in the opening minutes of the game, pouncing on the Blackhawks and scoring three goals in a span of two minutes to take a 3-0 lead.

Video: CHI Recap: Saad, Anisimov score in loss to Predators

Kevin Fiala opened the scoring at 2:11, while Eeli Tolvanen potted his first career goal to make it 2-0 at 3:32. Ryan Johansen followed that up for the third goal of the game at 4:11. 

On a long penalty kill, Brandon Saad made it a 3-1 game with a shorthanded tally at 12:20 of the first.

Craig Smith got back the three-goal lead for Nashville at 13:35 with less than a minute left on the power play.

Video: CHI@NSH: Arnisimov finshes off a pretty passing play

In the second, Artem Anisimov finished off a nice passing play from Patrick Kane and Brandon Manning to cut the lead to 4-2.

An empty-net goal from Nashville's Austin Watson with about three minutes remaining closed things out. 

FIRST-GOAL WOES: The issues with slow starts continued for yet another game with the Blackhawks allowing the first goal again. That makes six straight contests in which Chicago has fell behind first.

ROUGH STUFF: Things reached a boiling point in the first period when Duncan Keith took offense to a hit from Miikka Salomaki and multiple fights broke out. Alex DeBrincat also dropped the gloves against the much bigger opponent Matt Irwin. Keith received a two-minute roughing penalty, five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct. The Blackhawks scored shorthanded on the penalty, but also allowed a goal.

Video: Duncan Keith on his penalties

TALKING POINTS: "It's tough to play from behind. We got energy from the penalty kill and seemed like we got the desperation and the urgency we needed when we were in that spot. We killed the 5-on-3. Too bad we didn't get out of the penalty because we had some momentum. But we shouldn't need that. We need to play with desperation from the start. For whatever reason, we're not able to do it right now." - Head Coach Jeremy Colliton on the game

"Well, I really didn't see much. I just thought it was a little bit from behind… I didn't see the hit coming. It didn't hurt, but at the end of the day we were down 3-0 not even 5-10 minutes into the game, so enough is enough." - Duncan Keith on the hit and fight

"Just lack of focus. It's something that we address and we talk about as a team and the coaches tell us, but at the end of the day it's something where we have to come out and do it and be ready at the start. Especially playing teams like Nashville, who we know are going to be hot in their own building." - Brandon Saad on the slow start .

WHAT'S NEXT: The Blackhawks turn right around and head home to host the Calgary Flames at 6 p.m. on Sunday evening. The game can be seen on NBCSCH or heard on WGN 720.

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