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game recap

P.K. Subban scores, Predators win opener

Defenseman gets one of three power-play goals against Blackhawks

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators used power-play goals from P.K. Subban, Roman Josi and Mike Fisher to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in their season opener at Bridgestone Arena on Friday.

Subban tied the game 1-1 at 7:46 of the first period on a slap shot from the point on his first shot for the Predators. The defenseman, acquired June 29 in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens for Shea Weber, took a pass from Ryan Johansen and beat goalie Corey Crawford.

"I wasn't even thinking about anything like that coming into the game," Subban said. "Just wanted to kind of get back into it. Even though I had a couple of preseason games, it's been almost six months since you've played in a real game that means something, so for me, I wanted to get my feet under me and play hard and play physical and just try to do whatever the coaching staff asks me to do."

Fisher gave the Predators a 3-2 lead at 16:36 of the second period on a redirection. Defenseman Roman Josi shot from the point, and Fisher put it past Crawford.

"[The power play] was great," Fisher said. "Johansen did a great job on the half wall, our [defensemen] were shooting, find lanes, heads-up plays. On all of the goals, we had guys in front. That was the difference in the game."

Marcus Kruger gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead at 2:39 of the first period on a redirection from the slot. Ryan Hartman blocked a clearing attempt by Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, and the puck bounced to the slot, where Kruger was able to put it into an open net.

Niklas Hjalmarsson gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead at 9:51 of the first on a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle. Hjalmarsson took a pass from Duncan Keith and shot through traffic past Rinne.

Hjalmarsson returned to the Blackhawks lineup after serving a three-game suspension for a hit on St. Louis Blues forward Ty Rattie in the preseason.

Josi tied the game 2-2 at 16:33 of the first. He took a pass from Johansen and beat Crawford on a slap shot through traffic.

"Certainly we've got to have better discipline, stay out of the box as well," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We still could've had some offense that could've gotten us back in there and got an equalizer, but we didn't generate enough."

The teams play in Chicago on Saturday. The Blackhawks opened their season with a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

 

Goal of the game

Subban's slap shot set the tone for the Predators power play. He was able to shoot the puck through traffic and cleanly beat Crawford.

Video: CHI@NSH: Subban's power-play blast ties game at 1

 

Save of the game

Rinne made a save on a shot from the slot by Blackhawks forward Vinnie Hinostroza late in the third period to preserve the 3-2 lead. Hinostroza was alone in the slot, and Rinne got his shoulder on the puck to deflect it to the corner.

Video: CHI@NSH: Rinne makes huge save on Hinostroza

 

Unsung moment of the game

Subban disrupted a 2-on-1 by the Blackhawks late in the second period to preserve the 3-2 lead. Blackhawks forward Nick Schmaltz attempted a pass to forward Patrick Kane, and Subban was able to get his stick on the puck to disrupt a high quality scoring chance.

 

Highlight of the game

Fisher's redirection on the power play was the game-winning goal. He drove to the front of the net and was able to tip the puck below Crawford's arm.

Video: CHI@NSH: Fisher's deflection gives Preds a 3-2 lead

 

They said it

"If you want to describe it in one word, there's so much talent in this locker room. Any given night, there's different guys who can step up and be the guy that night. It was an interesting start. Pucks were bouncing and somehow found their way to our net, but we stuck with it. I thought especially the second goal was huge, and obviously [Fisher] tipped in the game-winner." -- Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne

Video: CHI@NSH: Rinne stops Hinostroza's one-timer with pad

 

Need to know

Blackhawks forward Ryan Hartman left the game with an undisclosed injury and did not return. … Predators defenseman Anthony Bitetto left the game with an upper-body injury after a fight in the second period with Blackhawks forward Jordin Tootoo and did not return. … Johansen had three assists, the second time in his NHL career he had three or more (Nov. 14, 2014, with the Columbus Blue Jackets against the Philadelphia Flyers). … Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa has 499 NHL goals and is trying to become the 44th player to score 500.

Video: CHI@NSH: Crawford makes blocker save on Wilson

 

What's next

Blackhawks: Host the Predators at United Center on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-TN, WGN, NHL.TV)

Predators: At the Blackhawks at United Center on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-TN, WGN, NHL.TV)

Video: Predators ride special teams to 3-2 win in Nashville

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