BLACKHAWKS at PREDATORS
(Best-of-seven series tied, 1-1)
Both teams are looking to pull ahead as the series that shifts to Nashville for Games 3 and 4 (Thursday). Since 1994, the No. 7 seed has defeated the No. 2 seed 46.3 percent of the time (14 of 30). The seventh-seeded Predators are looking for the first playoff series win in franchise history, and are 6-6 all-time in the postseason at home.
After a jarring 4-1 Game 1 loss on home ice, goalie Antti Niemi posted his first career win and shutout in the postseason, making 23 saves in a 2-0 win in Game 2 at United Center.
"Everyone was pumped up and wanted to see a win (Sunday)," said center Dave Bolland
, whose scored a second period power-play goal. "It was a huge game for us and huge to tie it up 1-1."
added insurance, scoring his second goal of the series in the third period to close the scoring.
"You get that second goal and everyone's just a little looser and you play with more confidence," said Kane, whose goal was his 11th in 19 career playoff games. "We came out with a couple of bad shifts (in the third), but we turned it around and played well the rest of the game."
Not much went right in the Game 2 loss. Nashville was called for seven penalties, resulting in five power plays for Chicago, which only needed to capitalize on one to seven the series.
"I thought we were pretty good five-on-five and early on in the second period, we carried the play for a lot of it,'' defenseman Dan Hamhuis said. "But we hurt ourselves by letting them be on the power play so much. We took three penalties in a row there and it really energized them.''
Coach Barry Trotz said injured winger Patrick Hornqvist "looks promising" to return for Game 3.
Kane is the only player to score goals in the first two games, and he also has an assist for a series-high 3 points. … Chicago winger Patrick Sharp
has an assist in both Games 1 and 2. … Niemi is coming off a 23-save shutout in Game 2, and has stopped 45 of 47 shots in two games. … J.P Dumont has 2 goals and David Legwand
has 2 assists for Nashville, and both did all their damage in Game 1. … Predators goalie Pekka Rinne
has stopped 53 of 57 shots in a win and a loss.
Hornqvist, the Predators' leading goal scorer with 30, was a scratch for Game 2 on Sunday with an upper-body injury. In Game 1, Hornqvist played very little in the third period and finished the game with 13:01 of ice time. Trotz said that was because of an equipment issue, and Hornqvist said he had a problem with his skate. Dustin Boyd replaced Hornqvist in the lineup for Game 2. … Defenseman Denis Grebeshkov (lower body) remains out for Nashville. … The Blackhawks are without defensemen Brian Campbell (broken collarbone) and Kim Johnsson (concussion).
In Game 2, Niemi became the ninth goaltender in Blackhawks history to post a playoff shutout and the first since Ed Belfour beat Calgary 3-0 on April 19, 1996. Niemi joined Charlie Gardiner, Lorne Chabot, Mike Karakas, Sam LoPresti, Glenn Hall, Tony Esposito, Gary Smith and Belfour. … Through Sunday's games, Niemi (1.01, .957) and Rinne (1.53, .949) are 1-2 in goals-against average and save percentage, respectively, in the playoffs. … Chicago is 1-for-7 thus far on the power play, and Nashville has failed to convert on its seven chances. … Jonathan Toews
(21:02) and Dustin Byfuglien (20:29) are the only Blackhawks forwards averaging better than 20 minutes of ice time per game. The Predators have none, and only defensemen Shea Weber
(25:17), Ryan Suter
(24:10) Hamhuis (23:07) and Francis Bouillon
(20:04) have topped the mark.
"You always like to get both, but we did get one and we're going back home. The next game will be the most critical.'' -- Trotz to the Tennessean