Chicago Blackhawks

Saad's OT goal lifts Blackhawks over Preds, 2-1

CHICAGO – Brandon Saad scored his sixth goal 3:05 into overtime, and the Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators, 2-1, on Saturday night in their first meeting since last year’s playoffs.

Saad beat Pekka Rinne with a one-timer from the left edge of the crease after taking a pinpoint cross-ice pass from Patrick Kane.

Corey Crawford made 37 saves for the Hawks, who wasted six power-play chances. The Blackhawks were swept by the Predators in the first round of the postseason in April.

Patrick Sharp scored with 5:36 left in the third period, spoiling Rinne’s shutout bid and sending it to overtime.

After Cody Franson held in a Nashville clearing attempt on the right boards, the puck bounded to rookie John Hayden. He fed Sharp to the right off the crease, and the veteran forward beat Rinne with a backhander on the Hawks’s 26th shot.

Filip Forsberg scored a power-play goal late in the second period for Nashville. It was his fifth goal in five games.

The Predators picked up right where they left in the playoffs last year, shutting down the Hawks’ high-scoring attack. The Predators outscored the Hawks, 13-3, in their playoff sweep in their first step on the way to the Stanley Cup Final.

Rinne made 33 saves Saturday night, but wasn’t tested until late.

The Predators played with a shuffled defense with Roman Josi and Yannick Weber out with short-term injuries. Ryan Ellis is sidelined until December after offseason knee surgery.

Nashville dominated a scoreless first period while giving the Hawks limited space. The Predators kept up their close checking in the second and jumped in front on Forsberg’s goal on their 29th shot with 1:44 left in the period.

P.K. Subban slid a low shot from the top of the slot through traffic toward Crawford. Scott Hartnell, parked in front in the crease, deflected the puck to the left side of the net and a wide-open Forsberg, who picked up his fourth goal in three games.

The Hawks’ Ryan Hartman shot wide on a breakaway at 8:32 of the second. Crawford stopped Viktor Arvidsson, alone at the edge of the crease with 30 second left in the period, to keep it at 1-0.

Notes: Josi missed his third game (upper body). Weber sat out his first after taking a high hit Thursday versus Dallas. ... D Anthony Bitetto jumped in for his second game this season. ... The Hawks’ C Nick Schmaltz missed his fourth game (upper body), but coach Joel Quenneville said the forward is close to returning. ... The Hawks’ D Connor Murphy was a scratch for the second time in three games.


Predators: Host Colorado on Tuesday.

Blackhawks: At St. Louis on Wednesday.

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