Predators start fast, can't hold leads in OT loss to Chicago

Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:20pm
Staff reports

Patric Hornqvist scored in the opening minute for the second straight game and later added a power-play goal, but the Nashville Predators fell 5-4 in overtime to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday at the start of a five-game road trip — all against Western Conference competition.

Viktor Stalberg scored the game-winner with 2:18 to play in the extra period as the Predators fell to 0-1-1 in overtime games this season. They were outshot 35-28 overall, 3-0 in the 2:42 of four-on-four play following regulation.

Nashville led three different times but needed a third-period goal from David Legwand to tie it 4-4 with 5:11 to go. Legwand scored 1:41 after the Blackhawks went ahead for the first time.

“We’ll take the point," coach Barry Trotz said. "I liked our resiliency. ... We fell down, they got the lead, we came right back with a  strong shift and scored.

"We just mismanaged a lot of the game. The momentum swings, we gave it right back to them too many times . And they’re too good a team [for that]."

Hornqvist got things started with his goal 26 seconds into the contest and made it 3-2 with 1:12 to play in the second period when he converted with the man-advantage. In between, rookie Craig Smith gave the Predators a 2-1 lead at 6:00 of the second.

Hornqvist, who scored 14 seconds into Saturday’s victory over Anaheim, now has four goals in the last three games.

He and Smith share the team lead with four goals each. Legwand and Sergei Kostitsyn, who missed his second straight game with an injury, have three apiece.

Patrick Kane scored twice and had an assist for Chicago. He tied it 1-1 in the final minute of the opening period and evened things at 3-3 nearly five minutes into the third. Marian Hossa assisted on each of the Blackhawks’ first three scores.

Ryan Thang, a third-round draft choice in 2007 and a Chicago native, was recalled earlier in the day and made his NHL debut. He did not have a shot in 8:32 of ice time.

In connection with Thang’s recall, forward Nick Spaling was placed on injured reserve with a lower body injury.

“It was kind of iffy whether I was going to be in the lineup, or be called up, but whenever you get that call you’re obviously excited," Thang said. "For it to work out like this is really special, to be here in Chicago. Everything was great except for the loss here in overtime."

The road trip continues Thursday at Phoenix and eventually takes Nashville to San Jose (Saturday), Los Angeles (Tuesday) and Anaheim (Nov. 9).