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Predators top Blackhawks 4-3 in shootoout

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The Nashville Predators made a successful pit stop at home.

The Predators came home after a five-game trip and delighted a sellout crowd of 17,113 by beating the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday night.

It's Nashville's second consecutive shootout win after a five-game losing streak -- and will send them back on the road in a good frame of mind. The Predators play their next four games away from home.

Chicago has dropped three in a row. The Hawks go home for Sunday's game against Anaheim before beginning a six-game trip of their own.

In the shootout, O'Reilly beat Chicago goalie Marty Turco with a wrist shot on Nashville's first attempt. Pekka Rinne stopped Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp for the win, improving to 13-5 all-time in shootouts.

"We prepare well for the shootouts," said Rinne, who told coach Barry Trotz to let Chicago shoot first. "We realize that the one extra point is huge and it's never easy to get those points and when you get to the shootout, you want to give your team the best chance. Cal made an awesome shot. My job gets a lot easier after that."

The Preds were happy to be home, if only for a night -- the Country Music Awards had kept them out of Bridgestone Arena for more than two weeks, and there's a convention coming that will keep them on the road until Thanksgiving Eve.

"They were great as always," Rinne said of the big crowd. "We can't take them for granted but being at home, we could feel the energy and we are really happy that we got the win because we haven't played well at home. It feels good to get the two points."

All three Predators goals in regulation came from defensemen: Shane O'Brien, Shea Weber and Cody Franson.

"We try and chip in whenever we can, but it is just a good job by our forwards," Franson said. "We don't get the puck without them. It is a whole team thing."

Jack Skille scored twice for Chicago and Viktor Stalberg had the other goal for the Blackhawks, who came to Nashville for the first time since eliminating the Predators in the first round of last spring's playoffs.

Skille entered without a goal in 17 games this season, but ended that drought with less than a minute remaining in the opening period.

"I've said all season, once I get that first one, it will take the pressure off and hopefully I can keep that going," Skille said. "Right now, I think team wins are the bigger issue, and we need to get back on the winning side of things."

At 19:07, Brian Campbell stickhandled through traffic and found Skille in the slot, where he snapped a wrist shot by the glove of Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne just inside the right post.

O'Brien and Weber scored goals less than 3 minutes apart in the second to give Nashville a brief 2-1 lead. Stalberg tied it 92 seconds after Weber's power-play goal at 5:19.

Skille's second of the game came at 9:10 of the second. Jake Dowell had the puck on the right side and slipped a pass to Skille in the slot. He carried the puck just inside the left circle and beat Rinne with a wrist shot high to the glove side.

"It's very hard in this League when you are down," Trotz said. "When you are chasing the game, trying to get it tied up, it is pretty taxing on your team mentally. But you talk about defining a backbone and finding ways to win, that's what those moments are."

Franson's goal at 10:23 of the third tied it at 3-3.

"We'll have to go back and look at it, but we still can't give up that third goal," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "I think there are some positive things and some things we need to talk about. We can't lose momentum."

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report

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