No leading scorer? No problem as Predators rout Blackhawks

Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 10:14pm
Staff reports

Shea Weber, Patric Hornqvist, Mike Fisher and Matt Halischuk all had a goal and an assist as the Nashville Predators whipped the Chicago Blackhawks 6-1 on Sunday at Chicago.

It was just the fourth time this season Nashville scored six goals in a game and the first time that it won by more than four goals.

It did so without leading scorer Martin Erat, who was scratched following pregame warm-ups with an upper-body injury. The situation at forward was compromised further when Jordin Tootoo, a healthy scratch a night earlier, sustained an injury on his second shift and played just 34 seconds.

Still the Predators improved to 4-0-1 against Chicago this season.

“It was a good effort," coach Barry Trotz said. "... I think we realize that there’s a certain way you have to play the game, and if you play the game that way we’re going to be in the game every time.

"... I liked our response to anything that happened in the game, we got good efforts from everybody, from the goal out, we really did."

Weber scored with a slapshot at 6:34 of the third period and answered the Blackhawks’ only goal 36 seconds earlier. That made it 5-1 and prompted Chicago to pull starting goalie Corey Crawford.

It was the 16th of the season for the Nashville captain, which equaled his total from each of the previous two seasons. He also scored in Saturday’s victory over Winnipeg. The last time he had goals in back-to-back contests was Nov. 12 and 15.

Another Weber slapshot resulted in Hornqvist’s goal.

It was 1:03 into a second-period power play that his shot ricocheted off the skates of – in order – Alexander Radulov and Hornqvist and into the net. Radulov also was credited with an assist on the play, which gave him a point in each of the three games he has played since his return from Russia (one goal, two assists).

Fisher capped the scoring with 2:27 remaining, and Halischuk started it 6:16 into the contest.

"They’re a simple team," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "They’re relentless, they’re quick, they transition very well, they’ve got good sticks. We turned pucks over all over the ice, didn’t have enough puck support, didn’t have enough quickness in the puck areas."

The Predators had lost three of the previous four on the road but became the second Western Conference team and seventh overall with 20 road wins this season. They improved to 20-15-3 outside of Bridgestone Arena, which made this the third straight season and fourth in their history they won 20 or more on the road.

They have opportunities to add to that win total this week with games at St. Louis on Tuesday and Detroit on Friday. They conclude the regular season on the road April 7 at Colorado.

"Overall [the] playoff picture probably doesn’t really matter to me right now," Trotz said. "I think the most important thing is we’re going to focus on ourselves, we can’t worry about anything else."


2 Comments on this post:

By: cookeville on 3/26/12 at 9:02

They were awesome last night! Look out Stanley, here we come! whoo hoo!

By: joe41 on 3/26/12 at 12:11

That was a different team that I saw last night. They really looked awesome.