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Nashville at Chicago

Blackhawks 5, Predators 2

CBSSports.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks got key goals from Robert Lang and big saves from Nikolai Khabibulin to win their season-high fourth straight game.

Lang scored two goals in the third period and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 5-2 on Wednesday.

"Everyone knows that Nick was the first star tonight on both sides of the red line," Jonathan Toews said. "He won the game for us.

"All in all, I don't think we played as well as could tonight. But we came away with two points and we're happy about it."

Both of Lang's goals restored two-goal leads for the Blackhawks, who held on for a season-high fourth straight win.

Patrick Sharp, Toews and Patrick Kane each had a goal and assist for the Blackhawks.

Khabibulin was sharp and made 30 saves. Among them were numerous point-blank chances, including several on odd-man breaks, that kept Nashville from tying the game.

The Blackhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, but struggled to stay ahead.

"We had a decent start, but again got ourselves in trouble with turnovers," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "They put a lot of pressure on us."

But the Blackhawks didn't collapse before a season-high crowd of 20,511.

"I don't think about that (the crowd)," Khabibulin said. "I just step out on the ice and do the best I can. I'm just happy we've won four straight."

Alexander Radulov and Marek Zidlicky scored for Nashville, which had won its previous two games. The Predators went 0-for 6 on the power-play.

Sharp's goal, which opened the scoring in the first period, was his league-leading seventh short-handed. As a team, the Blackhawks lead the NHL with 12 short-handed goals.

"We had our chances, but we didn't bury them," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We had three power play chances in the first period.

"Every time we come in here they seem to score a short-handed goal," he added. "That can be pretty deflating."

Dan Ellis started in goal for Nashville. He was replaced by Chris Mason late in the first period after allowing two goals on the Chicago's first three shots.

Mason permitted two goals on 18 shots

"Khabibulin made some great saves when he had to," Mason said. 'We need to get some gritty goals on deflection and screens. We don't have the same kind of skilled goal-scoring we in previous years."

Chicago defenseman Brent Sopel suffered a broken finger in the first period and, according Savard, will miss two-to-four weeks.

Blackhawks blueliner James Wisniewski sustained an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his knee in a fight at the end of the game with Nashville's Jordin Tootoo. Savard expects Wisniewski, who will undergo an MRI, to be sidelined for at least four-to-six weeks.


The Blackhawks placed three players -- RW Martin Havlat (groin), C Dave Bolland (broken finger) and LW Ben Eager (concussion) on injured reserve on Wednesday. Havlat, one of the league's top offensive talents, was injured Saturday in Ottawa and will miss at least a week. Havlat sat out 22 games earlier this season with a shoulder injury. In 12 games, he has five goals and six assists. ... Nashville D Shea Weber missed his second game with an ankle injury.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Nashville (16-17-2)0022
Chicago  (19-15-2) «2035
Three Stars
J. Toews

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
R. Lang

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
N. Khabibulin

Saves: 30
Save Pct.: .938

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Scoring Summary
11:27Short - Patrick Sharp (19), Snap Shot. Assist: Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith
15:38Jonathan Toews (14), Snap Shot. Assist: Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane
02:05Alexander Radulov (8), Snap Shot. Assist: Radek Bonk, Dan Hamhuis
08:55Robert Lang (12), Slap Shot. Assist: Dustin Byfuglien, Cam Barker
13:10Marek Zidlicky (2), Snap Shot. Assist: David Legwand, Vernon Fiddler
14:42Robert Lang (13), Slap Shot. Assist: Tuomo Ruutu, Petri Kontiola
18:45Patrick Kane (9), Empty Net, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
44.0de Vries, 2 min, Hooking
07:57Sharp, 2 min, Slashing
10:26Lapointe, 2 min, High-Sticking
12:57Byfuglien, 2 min, Charging
16:46Bonk, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
18:53Smithson, 2 min, Tripping
49.0Toews, 2 min, Slashing
07:27Hamhuis, 2 min, Hooking
14:18Lang, 2 min, Hooking
16:21Barker, 2 min, Tripping
07:36Erat, 2 min, Tripping
07:36Wisniewski, 2 min, Diving/Embellishment
20:00Wisniewski, 5 min, Fighting
20:00Tootoo, 5 min, Fighting
Shots On Goal
Dan Ellis15:3812
Chris Mason43:56162
Nikolai Khabibulin60:00302
Game Information
Attendance - 20511
Referees - Dan O'Halloran, Stephane Auger
Linesmen - Andy McElman, Dan Schachte
Other Games
Tor 3 Final
Ott 5 Final
Buf 3
SJ 3 Final
LA 2
Car 2 Final
TB 2 Final
Wash 3
Atl 0 Final
Colu 2
Min 3 Final
Dal 8
Det 5 Final
StL 0