Filip Forsberg scored late, but Nashville’s rally fell short, as the Predators lost 3-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night at United Center.
Forsberg’s goal came with 36 seconds remaining on the clock, almost capping off what would have been comeback from a 3-0 deficit, but Corey Crawford stopped Ryan Johansen with seconds remaining to secure the win for Chicago.
“We’re just kind of playing; we’re not playing good, we’re not playing poor, but it’s not good enough,” defenseman Roman Josi said. “Again, the first two periods, even the third, we’re playing, but we’re not playing well enough to win. We’re not attacking the game; it’s just playing so-so, and that’s not going to get a lot of wins.”
Before the opening period was out, Andrew Shaw put the Hawks in front 1-0 after a scramble in front of the net ended with the puck sliding under Pekka Rinne and into the cage.
Shaw claimed his second of the night at 6:14 of the second period before Brent Seabrook gave Chicago a 3-0 advantage 7:04 later. On the very next shift, however, Mike Ribeiro got one back and put the Preds on the board, scoring from an almost impossible angle below the goal line, roofing the puck over the shoulder of Crawford.
The Predators continued to generate chances in the third period, after registering 20 shots in the second period alone, but were unable to even the score.
“It’s a team effort at the end of the day,” Ribeiro said. “The only way to beat teams is to out work them and play harder than them, and we do that for a period, but it’s a game, and you need to do that for three periods. I think that’s the biggest difference is a full 60. Work harder than the other team, and you’ll win.”
Nashville continues a stretch of games within the Central Division on Thursday when they travel to Winnipeg to face the Jets to finish off their four-game road trip. Winless thus far on the excursion, the Preds know they have to build off of the positives and execute before heading home.
“It’s a matter of regrouping and come out the next game and win,” Ribeiro said. “It doesn’t matter how you’re going to win, but find a way to get points and find a way to win a game.”
Colin Wilson (lower-body, day-to-day) missed his second-straight game. Eric Nystrom and Petter Granberg were healthy scratches for the Preds.
Nashville finishes off their four-game road trip on Thursday in Winnipeg against the Jets before returning home Saturday to host Minnesota, and then Chicago next Tuesday.