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game recap

Blackhawks score seven, ease past Predators

Lehner makes 39 saves, Chicago wins third straight; Rinne pulled for Nashville

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Nylander's second of the period

CHI@NSH: Nylander wires wrist shot from the circle

Alexander Nylander picks up his second goal of the period on a wrist shot from the circle that extends the Blackhawks' lead to 7-1 in the 3rd

  • 00:31 •

NASHVILLE -- Robin Lehner made 39 saves, and Alex Nylander scored two goals for the Chicago Blackhawks in a 7-2 win against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

The Blackhawks (8-7-4) won their third straight game and are 5-1-1 in their past seven. 

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist and extended his point streak to eight games for Chicago. He has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) during that span.

 

[WATCH: All Blackhawks vs. Predators highlights]

 

"It's nice to see them get rewarded," Lehner said of the Blackhawks offense after Chicago scored at least five goals for the fourth time in five games. "Ever since we changed a few things, it opens up the talent and the skill level we have as a team."

Roman Josi scored twice for the Predators (9-7-3), who are 1-4-2 in their past seven.

"Defense is always a five-man job out there, like offense too," Josi said. "We've got to make sure we all defend together, we come back together, we battle it out together. We didn't do any of that tonight."

Video: CHI@NSH: Kampf cranks one-timer past Rinne

Erik Gustafsson gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead at 6:33 of the first period on a wrist shot through traffic from the point.

"It's good that we're closing the gap," Gustafsson said. "I think our start of the season wasn't that good, but we're trying to figure out how we're supposed to play out there now. I think we're playing more as a team, and we showed that today."

Dominik Kubalik made it 2-0 at 18:04. Predators defenseman Matt Irwin lost the puck to Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach deep in the defensive zone, and Dach fed Kubalik in front.

Brent Seabrook made it 3-0 at 1:51 of the second period on a backhand from beyond the circles.

David Kampf extended the lead to 4-0 lead at 11:39 on a one-timer from the top of the slot.

"I thought it was a good performance, especially the first two periods," Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton said. "Obviously we scored on our chances, and we got some really timely saves too by [Lehner], especially in the first few minutes when they had a bit of a flurry. Scored some timely goals, and obviously the guys have some confidence and had some fun out there."

Video: CHI@NSH: Kane beats Saros on the near post

Nashville starter Pekka Rinne was replaced by Juuse Saros after Kampf's goal. He made 10 saves. Saros made seven saves on 10 shots.

Josi cut it to 4-1 at 3:40 of the third period on the rebound of a shot by Matt Duchene.

Kane made it 5-1 at 9:09 on a wrist shot from the left circle.

Nylander extended the lead to 6-1 at 14:02, then made it 7-1 at 17:28.

"We've got a great team," Nylander said. "We just had a little bit of a rough start in the beginning, but we're coming together now and we're creating chances and we're shooting the puck more. We've just been doing a really good job the past couple games, and we just need to keep going like this."

Josi's second of the game made it 7-2 with 1:08 remaining.

Video: CHI@NSH: Nylander puts home feed from Toews

 

They said it

"I think it was the rushes. We gave up a lot of odd-man rushes to start. And just whether we got sticks on their shots to be able to deflect them, or [Lehner was] standing on his head and making big saves with those, and then we get a goal back right away on the other side, that gave us the confidence and momentum and kind of slowed them down. That was definitely a key to the game." -- Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy

"We have to do a little bit of soul-searching. It's not been going well for a little while here and it's been a struggle, but teams go through this as we know. We have the personnel here to turn this around in a hurry. We've got a huge game against Winnipeg on Tuesday so we can't dwell on this one too long." -- Predators forward Colton Sissons

 

Need to know

Murphy returned after missing 11 games because of a groin injury. He had one shot and three blocked shots in 20:05 of ice time. … In his past five starts, Rinne has allowed 20 goals and been pulled twice. ... Predators forward Filip Forsberg's point streak ended at five games.

 

What's next

Blackhawks: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NBCSCH, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Predators: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, TSN3, NHL.TV)

Video: Blackhawks erupt for seven goals, down Predators

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