Nashville Predators 5, Chicago Blackhawks 1: James Neal Scores Two In Dominant Win

The Predators got back to their scoring ways as they defeated the Blackhawks in Nashville.

It was a raucous crowd at the Bridgestone Arena tonight, and the two teams on the ice delivered one heck of a game for the fans in attendance.

The Predators got on the board first with a goal from James Neal. They then added two quick goals by Craig Smith and Filip Forsberg. The latter was on the man advantage. Those two goal gave the Predators a 3-0 lead going into the second period. I'm sure that doesn't make many Preds' fans tense, am I right?

Luckily for fans, the Blackhawks were not able to put one past Pekka Rinne. The second period stayed scoreless and the Preds took their three goal lead into the third period.

The Blackhawks finally got on the board with a controversial goal from Patrick Kane. And of course, that extends his points streak. That didn't seem to bother the Preds though as Neal scored his second of the game later in the period. Eric Nystrom then netted an empty netter to seal the deal.

In the end, the Predators ended the game strong and took home 2 points in a 5-1 win.

Random Observations

  • The start by the Predators in this game was exactly how they wanted to start (and have started for many games now). Any thing and everything was directed towards the net.
  • Heel James Neal everybody!! It is good to see that he got his scoring touch back, at least for a game.
  • I am sure that I'm not the only one who cringes when Nashville goes on the penalty kill. They have been just absolutely abysmal lately. It was good to see they started the night by killing off their first opportunity on the kill
  • God I enjoy watching Arvidsson out there. He is going to be a special talent for this team. That goal by Smith was all because of Arvidsson.
  • Not only did they Preds kill on a penalty in the first period, but they scored on the powerplay as well! It was definitely a strong first period for special teams.
  • My thoughts after the first period, "3-0 lead for the Preds early in the game, feels eerily too close to last year's playoff series." My thoughts after the second period, "thank god they weren't able to convert on any of those chances."
  • This game had a definite playoff feel to it. High intensity and hard hits made this game really exciting.
  • Man, Pekka sure did make some Pekka like saves tonight. This is the guy the Preds need to get back to the dominate form they were in at the beginning of the season.
  • Shea Weber basically threw Andrew Shaw to the ground like a rag doll. He will have none of your crap tonight Shaw!
  • I hate that the Predators sat back for the entire second period and the most of the third. They have to be aggressive for an entire 60 minutes if they want to see success in the post season.
  • Of course the refs sit on their whistle on that Nashville challenge.
  • What made that goal worse is that it extended Kane's scoring streak to 24 games. Let the boo birds ensue.
  • I am going to start calling Neal Chicago's kryptonite. He just seems to always score against them. Neal must love playing against them at this point.

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • James Neal: Neal just seems to find the back of the net against Chicago.
  • Pekka Rinne: He stood on his head when he needed to tonight.
  • Viktor Arvidsson: I know I've said it before, but this kid is special.

Tweets Of The Night

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

Roll the video highlights...