Chicago Blackhawks 4, Nashville Predators 1: Hawks Win 12th Straight

The Preds struggle again in a disheartening loss to the Blackhawks. Who let the bad mojo back in?

Any momentum that was leftover from Saturday's shutout win over the Wild has now completely escaped. The Blackhawks came into Nashville and dominated the Predators for their 12th win in a row.

The Blackhawks are the best team in the league right now and the Preds had no answers, offensively or defensively. Much like last Tuesday, the Preds out-shot the Hawks, but failed to generate any high quality scoring chances. Most everything sent Corey Crawford's way was a cinch. He made 38 saves and probably didn't break a sweat. Pekka Rinne, whose start was a surprise to many, was sub-par again. He made 23 saves and struggled for much of the night.

Artem Anisimov, Richard Panik, Patrick Kane, and Andrew Desjardins scored for the Blackhawks. Ryan Ellis scored for the Predators.

Pekka Rinne's poor play cannot be understated. It looked to me like it affected the rest of the team. His shakiness was obvious. The defense seemed unsure of themselves for much of the night. Just more of the same, it seems.

Random Observations

  • Preds getting plenty of shots on goal, but only a couple have been dangerous. James Neal ripped one from the slot that Crawford collected easily. Craig Smith rang one off the post on a partial breakaway. The Blackhawks defense is playing everything to the outside, as everyone should against the Preds. Chicago will be fine if Crawford sees 40-50 easy shots.
  • Preds have more shots and more possession after 20 minutes, but the Blackhawks lead the game 1-0. Kane's line looks like the most dangerous line in hockey. Crawford looks unbeatable. Rinne doesn't. It might as well be last Tuesday.
  • Speaking of "Rinne doesn't," Richard Panik scores early on in the 2nd period to make it 2-0. Rinne absolutely has to make that save. A low-danger shot from a low-percentage shooter. Just no excuses any more. Wouldn't be shocked to see an early hook from Lavy.
  • But before Lavy can do that, Ryan Ellis puts Nashville on the board! A hard slapper from the blue-line gets by Crawford and it's a 1 goal deficit again.
  • Kane gets a breakaway to make it 3-1 and that's probably going to seal it. Yes... seal it. With 12+ minutes left in the 2nd. Why? Because the Preds will never beat Chicago as long as Patrick Kane is a Blackhawk and Pekka Rinne is a Predator. Just won't happen.They hardly look like an NHL team compared to Chicago. Completely over-matched.
  • That was a terrible, terrible, terrible 2nd period.
  • Just doesn't seem like it's going to happen. The best chance in the 3rd period came from Craig Smith, who has played well. He cut across in front of Crawford and had a wide open backhand, but Crawford's skate tipped it wide.
  • The Predators can't get out of their own way. Nothing is going right at all. I don't really know how they have this many shots, because it seems like all they've done all game is turn the puck over, fall down, or run into each other.
  • Special teams were a non-factor in this game for both teams. Preds went 0-3 on the power-play, Hawks went 0-2.

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Ryan Ellis: a nice goal to prevent the shutout. Once again, a defenseman has to get the Predators going offensively.
  • Craig Smith: 2 outstanding chances (maybe 3?), but couldn't bury either one.
  • Patrick Kane: Just give him the stupid Hart trophy already. Ugh./

Tweets of the Night

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - War-on-Ice - HockeyStats - Natural Stat Trick

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