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Predators 6, Blackhawks 1 @NHLdotcom

CHICAGO (AP) - The game plan against Nikolai Khabibulin is to shoot high - and the Nashville Predators executed it almost perfectly.

Steve Sullivan and Yanic Perreault each had a goal and an assist, rookie defenseman Ryan Suter scored his first NHL goal and the Predators chased Khabibulin in the second period of a 6-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

Paul Kariya added two goals in the third period for Nashville, which has won four straight. Chris Mason had 26 saves for the Predators.

Matthew Barnaby had the lone goal for the Blackhawks, who have lost four of five.

Khabibulin was pulled midway through the second period after allowing four goals on 12 shots. Suter, Perreault and Vernon Fiddler all scored into the upper portion of the net.

``We get a scouting report before the game and he's a great goalie, obviously,'' Kariya said. ``He takes a lot a way at the bottom and, like against most guys you have to go up top to beat him.''

Added Fiddler: ``He's a butterfly goalie and you always want to get shots up on butterfly goalie, especially when he's down.''

Chicago coach Trent Yawney, who pulled Khabibulin from a game for the second time this year, said he made the move to shake up his team after it had fallen behind, 4-1.

``It was a feeling I had,'' Yawney said. ``It wasn't' indicative of the way he was playing. That's not why I pulled him. I felt that maybe we needed something different.''

Craig Anderson allowed two goals on 19 shots, both to Kariya in the third period. Kariya also added an assist to go along with his 11th and 12th goals.

``We're not a risky team and we were just a little too risky tonight,'' Chicago captain Adrian Aucoin said. ``They seem to just score with their chances. Defensively we weren't where we wanted to be.''

Suter, Nashville's first-round pick in the 2003 draft, opened the scoring with 6:38 left in the first period. Following a face off in the Chicago zone, he rifled a high shot over Khabibulin's glove from just inside the point.

The Madison, Wisc., native had an audience of some 70 family members and friends in the crowd to witness his first NHL goal. Among them were his father, Bob, who played for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team, and his uncle, Gary, a former NHL defenseman.

``It was a great draw by (center Jerred Smithson) and I just closed my eyes and shot it,'' Suter said. ``I was just at the top of the circle, I just lined up there for the faceoff and I think it went upper left hand side of the net.''

Barnaby tied it 41 seconds later. After a turnover in the Nashville zone, he beat Mason with a high shot.

Perreault gave Nashville a 2-1 lead with 1:14 left in the first, fooling Khabibulin with a rising shot from the right circle that hit the far side post and went in.

Sullivan scored a power-play goal at 2:10 of the second to make it 3-1. His low, screened drive from the blue line slipped between Khabibulin's legs.

Fiddler connected at 8:08 to extend the Predators' lead to 4-1 and chase Khabibulin.

Notes: Blackhawks rookie D Brent Seabrook suffered a leg injury in the second period and didn't return. ...Chicago D and captain Adrian Aucoin returned after missing the last four games and six of the last seven with a groin injury. Blackhawks D Michal Barinka sat out his third straight game with concussion-like symptoms. ... Nashville F Greg Johnson returned after missing 13 games with a groin strain.

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