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game recap

Rinne scores goal in Predators victory against Blackhawks

Goalie shoots into empty net to help Hynes get first win as coach

by Brandon Cain / Independent Correspondent

Rinne scores from his own net

NSH@CHI: Rinne launches home first NHL goal

Goaltender Pekka Rinne collects the loose puck from behind the goal line and sends it into the empty net to become the 12th NHL goalie to score

  • 00:39 •

CHICAGO -- Pekka Rinne scored a goal and made 29 saves to help John Hynes get his first win as Nashville Predators coach, 5-2 against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Thursday.

Rinne is the 12th goalie in NHL history to score, the first since Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes on Oct. 19, 2013. Rinne kicked the puck to his stick behind his goal line and lofted a shot that landed in the Blackhawks zone and bounced into an empty net with 22 seconds remaining in the third period for the 5-2 final.

"We just scored, it was a two-goal lead, and luckily the puck was flat on the ice and I was able to take a shot," Rinne said. "I like to play the puck, so I mean it's something I've always dreamed of. So now I think the stars were lined up for me tonight."


[WATCH: All Predators vs. Blackhawks highlights | More goalie goals in NHL history]


Roman Josi extended his point streak to 12 games with an assist for the Predators (20-16-7).

Dominik Kubalik and Alex DeBrincat scored, and Corey Crawford made 25 saves for Chicago (19-20-6), which has lost two in a row and three of four.

"[The Predators] were ready to go, and we just gave up some quality chances that even if you're not having your best period you've got to find a way to limit them," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "We didn't do that enough."

Rinne is the first Predators goalie to score by shooting the puck. Chris Mason received credit for a goal as the last Nashville player to touch the puck against Phoenix on April 15, 2006.

"I obviously understand that it might be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, so I really enjoyed it," Rinne said. "It was an awesome feeling, seeing the puck go in. To be honest with you, I thought it was curving left a little bit and then it took a little correction and it ended up in the middle. And then, I'm like trying to see and then [Josi] and [Nick Bonino], they were going nuts. It was pretty cool. I just threw my hands up in the air and tried to act as cool as I could."

Josi's backhand from the slot redirected off Viktor Arvidsson's right leg to put the Predators up 1-0 at 3:16 of the first period. Yakov Trenin stole the puck from Adam Boqvist and passed it to Colin Blackwell, who scored his first NHL goal in his 17th game to make it 2-0 at 8:22.

"To get that first one under my belt was pretty special, pretty cool," Blackwell said. "It was kind of all five guys on the ice, tic-tac-toe, everybody made great plays, and I was just in the right place at the right time."

Video: NSH@CHI: Blackwell nets first career NHL goal

Matt Duchene increased the lead to 3-0 at 16:55 when he tucked the puck past Crawford's right skate.

"I thought we had a very strong start, a lot of the things we worked on you could see in the game as the game wore on, there were ups and downs," said Hynes, who was hired to replace Peter Laviolette on Tuesday and then lost his Nashville debut 6-2 to the Boston Bruins.

Kubalik made it 3-1 at 6:43 of the second period with a wrist shot from the right circle. It was his third straight game with a goal.

DeBrincat scored on a backhand on the power-play make it 3-2 at 5:32 of the third period. Nick Bonino scored into an empty net to make it 4-2 at 19:23.

Video: NSH@CHI: DeBrincat pots backhanded power-play goal

The goals by Rinne and Bonino were two of the five shots by Nashville in the third period. It had 25 in the first two periods.

"The bottom line is we needed the desperation and urgency and work ethic in our game that we showed in the second and third period," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "We needed it in the first."

Smith was the last goalie to shoot a goal into an empty net, on Oct. 19, 2013 against the Detroit Red Wings. Billy Smith of the New York Islanders was the first goalie to get credit for a goal, on Nov. 28, 1979 at the Colorado Rockies. Ron Hextall was the first to score by shooting the puck, Dec. 8, 1987 against the Boston Bruins. This is the first goal scored by a goalie against the Blackhawks.

"That was pretty cool," Duchene said. "I've only ever seen it one other time; we had a goalie in summer hockey one year who scored, but pretty cool to see that in the NHL. That's elite. He's already in such an elite group of goaltenders in this league, he just added himself to another elite group. He's been so good for us this year, and so nice to see him get rewarded with a great win, a great game, playing his position and obviously tucking one in too."


They said it

"This has been a hard year for our team, and we've all -- players, coaches, management, specifically goaltending -- have come under more critique this year. Where we are, it's a huge win to try and get ourselves back in the [Stanley Cup Playoff] race. It's kind of the icing on the cake when the face of your franchise scores a goal. Who knows? Important goals, and we usually talk about a power-play goal or a game-winning goal or what have you, but maybe this is something that turns the team around? I'm certainly hoping that." -- Predators general manager David Poile

"They were better than us. I think they were ready to come out there. They've been struggling, too, so they were more ready than us. I think that's all it was. We gave up too many chances and they capitalized." -- Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat on Nashville scoring three goals in the first period


Need to know

The 12 goalies have scored a total of 15 goals; Martin Brodeur scored three for the New Jersey Devils, and Hextall scored two for the Flyers. Eight were shot into the net by the goalie. ... Josi has 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) during his point streak, which is tied with Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak for the longest active. ... Predators forward Kyle Turris played his 700 NHL game. ... Blackhawks forward Drake Caggiula, who missed 27 games with a concussion, had two shots on goal and four hits in 11:13 in his first game since Nov. 10. ... Toews had two assists for his second multipoint game in four games. ... Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has nine points (four goals, five assists) during a five-game point streak.


What's next

Predators: At the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday (2 p.m. ET; TSN3, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Blackhawks: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH+, PRIME, NHL.TV)

Video: Rinne scores in 5-2 victory to give Hynes first win

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