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game recap

Blackhawks get first win of season

Richard Panik scores hat trick against Predators

by Brian Hedger / NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Richard Panik couldn't recall the last time he had a hat trick, but the Chicago Blackhawks forward will remember the one he had at United Center on Saturday.

Panik's first NHL hat trick helped the Blackhawks to a 5-3 win against the Nashville Predators for their first victory of the season.

He scored at 10:19 of the first period to give the Blackhawks a 3-0 lead, on a power play at 4:56 of the third to make it 4-2, and again with 1:31 remaining off a pass from Patrick Kane.

"Those first two games, I got an opportunity on the top line and we lost those two games," said Panik, whose four goals lead the Blackhawks. "We weren't happy about it, but tonight we won, so we are pretty happy."

Video: NSH@CHI: Panik slides home Kane's pass for hat trick

Defenseman Brent Seabrook and rookie forward Nick Schmaltz scored in the first period for the Blackhawks. Scott Darling made 33 saves in his first start of the season.

Forwards Colin Wilson, Craig Smith and Viktor Arvidsson scored for the Predators, who started backup goalie Marek Mazanec (22 saves) after Pekka Rinne made 22 saves in a 3-2 win against the Blackhawks in Nashville on Friday.

Chicago was outshot 16-8 in the first period but scored the first three goals. Schmaltz made it 1-0 at 6:36 with his first NHL goal, Seabrook made it 2-0 at 8:19 on the power play, and Panik scored the third.

Darling made 15 saves in the first, including a couple of diving efforts. The only one he didn't keep out was scored by Wilson at 18:31 to pull the Predators within 3-1.

Video: NSH@CHI: Schmaltz nets first career goal

Smith scored with 1:16 left in the second period, six seconds into a power play; the Predators have four man-advantage goals in their first two games.

Arvidsson's goal at 10:06 of the third, sandwiched by Panik's second and third of the night, briefly pulled Nashville within one.

"I thought we ran out of steam a little bit in the third period, but we had some chances to score," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "The goal at the end of the first to draw it back to 3-1 gave us a little life. It's just hard to dig out of those holes, that's all."

 
Goal of the game

Panik's first goal was off a great individual effort. After carrying the puck toward the net, he used a reverse spin move in the low slot to get around defenseman Matt Carle, and then slid a backhand shot under Mazanec's left skate.

"We know what he's capable of," Darling said. "He has tons and tons of skill, and it's nice to see it come out tonight."

Video: NSH@CHI: Panik shows off moves, buries backhand

 

Save of the game

Darling robbed Wilson of a goal at 4:44 of the first period. Wilson received a pass in front, but his wrist shot was denied by Darling's lunging save. Less than two minutes later, Schmaltz put the Blackhawks up 1-0.

"He's such a skilled player," Darling said. "I just tried to be patient. I didn't bite on the first fake, and then just stayed big and came across with it."

 

Unsung moment of the game

Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban lined up Chicago captain Jonathan Toews for a hit in the Predators zone at 8:11 of the first, but Toews sent Subban to the ice. Two seconds later, Predators center Mike Ribeiro flipped the puck over the glass. Seabrook scored to make it 2-0 six seconds into the ensuing power play, with Toews screening Mazanec.

 

Video: NSH@CHI: Seabrook blasts a slap shot for PPG

 

Highlight of the game

Arvidsson cut the Blackhawks lead to 4-3 midway through the third. After receiving a pass from defenseman Mattias Ekholm, Arvidsson streaked toward the net while holding off Chicago defenseman Brian Campbell. Without breaking stride, he deked Darling to the right and scored off a wrist shot inside the left post.

Video: NSH@CHI: Arvidsson holds off defender, beats Darling

 

They said it

"This team doesn't have a problem scoring. Every line can score, so just to contribute feels really good, and it's a good team win tonight. Good to get the first one out of the way." -- Blackhawks forward Nick Schmaltz on his first NHL goal

 

"I thought our guys played hard. I think we outshot them, out-chanced them and did a good a lot of good things." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette

 

Need to know

The Blackhawks have allowed seven power-play goals in 13 times shorthanded through their first three games. ... Chicago played without rookie forward Ryan Hartman, who injured his left leg early in the first period Friday. Hartman, who is day to day, was replaced by Dennis Rasmussen. … Nashville defenseman Anthony Bitetto is day to day with an upper-body injury and will be re-evaluated Monday.

 

What's next

Predators: Home against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Blackhawks: Home against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CSN-CH, CSN-PH, NHL.TV

 

Video: Panik's hat trick fuels Blackhawks in win

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