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Chicago at Nashville

Predators pounce on Blackhawks in home finale

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Chicago Blackhawks certainly draw plenty of their own fans with them when playing in Nashville.

Simply playing the defending Stanley Cup champs definitely brings out the best in the Predators this season.

Patric Hornqvist scored the go-ahead goal with 58.2 seconds left and Shea Weber added an empty-netter as the Nashville Predators rallied with five goals in the third period to beat the Blackhawks 7-5 Saturday night in their home finale.

The teams combined to score seven goals in a wild and furious final period. Chicago was up 3-2 going into the third, and Nashville finally put the Blackhawks away with the two goals inside the final minute. Nashville, which also scored seven goals while beating Chicago earlier this season, took the season series 4-1 before an arena about half full of Blackhawks fans.

"I felt that gave us some motivation to let them come and then go home sad," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said of the latest win. "That was my goal."

Hornqvist also had an assist. Craig Smith had a goal and an assist. Paul Gaustad, Ryan Ellis, Matt Cullen and Colin Wilson also scored a goal apiece as 12 of 18 Nashville skaters got at least a point.

Ben Smith, Marian Hossa, Matt Carey, Jeremy Morin and Andrew Shaw each scored a goal for Chicago, which finished the season third in the Central Division. The Blackhawks now must wait to see if they are playing either Colorado or St. Louis when the playoffs start. Both teams play Sunday.

"It's going to be interesting," Hossa said. "It'll come down to the last game to decide who we're going to play."

The Predators were eliminated from the postseason for a second straight year with a shootout loss Tuesday night at Dallas, but they now are 8-1-2 over their last 11 games. They certainly didn't quit when they had the chance down 2-0 in the first period or trailing going into the third.

"It's obviously a good sign," Weber said. "There's no quit in this locker room. A lot of character. We knew guys weren't going to quit. It's tough to be out of the postseason, but there is still a lot to play for."

Nashville scored the first two goals of the third as Cullen scored off a rebound at 4:03 followed by Wilson scoring off a rebound of Weber's shot at 7:05. That gave Nashville its first lead of the night at 4-3.

It didn't last long as Morin scored 55 seconds later with a helping hand from Nashville defenseman Roman Josi who was trying to poke it away from the post only to knock it over the line tying it up at 4.

Gaustad put Nashville up 5-4 with 2:55 left only to see Shaw tie it up yet again with a slap shot with 1:35 remaining.

Hornqvist put Nashville ahead to stay when he tipped in a shot by Wilson. With goalie Antti Raanta pulled, Weber sealed the win with his 22nd goal this season.

"Obviously, there are four months until the next home game, but I think it was great for our fans to see what we are all about," Hornqvist said. "When we are playing good, we can beat any team in the league and obviously it will give us some confidence for next year too."

The Blackhawks' faithful did their best to turn this game into a near home game with so much red sitting in the stands, taking advantage of the short flight from Chicago. They turned out even though Chicago was already locked into third in the Central Division, and coach Joel Quenneville scratched defenseman Duncan Keith for a second straight game. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews remained out with injuries waiting for the playoffs.

Hossa did not play after the first period after getting his 30th goal this season, which Quenneville discussed with him Saturday morning.

"It was a perfect ending for him," Quenneville said. "He had a nice year for us."

Notes

Nashville finished the season with four straight home wins. ... Hornqvist now has a career-high 52 points this season, and the Swede has 17 points in his last 10 games. That's the most of any NHL player since March 21. ... Carey's goal was the first of his career in his second NHL game. ... Cullen's goal was his 600th career NHL point. ... The Blackhawks finish the season 12-3-3 in the second game of back-to-back series. ... Chicago scored five or more goals in an NHL-best 25 games.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scoreboard
Chicago (46-21-15)2125
Nashville  (37-32-12) «1157
Three Stars
P. Hornqvist
NSH


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
M. Fisher
NSH


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
B. Saad
CHI


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
04:11 - Ben Smith (14), Snap Shot. Assist: Saad
12:43 - Marian Hossa (31), Wrap Shot, Unassisted.
12:57 - Craig Smith (22), Snap Shot. Assist: Gaustad
2ND PERIOD
06:32 - Ryan Ellis (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Fisher, Hornqvist
13:16 - Matt Carey (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bickell, Saad
3RD PERIOD
04:03 - Matt Cullen (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Fisher, Ekholm
07:05 - Colin Wilson (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Weber, Stalberg
08:00 - Jeremy Morin (5), Backhand Shot. Assist: Oduya, Shaw
17:05 - Paul Gaustad (10), Snap Shot. Assist: Smith, Bourque
18:25 - Andrew Shaw (20), Slap Shot, Unassisted.
19:01 - Patric Hornqvist (22), Tip-In. Assist: Cullen, Fisher
19:46 - Shea Weber (22), Empty Net. Assist: Josi, Gaustad
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
None
2ND PERIOD
03:12Ellis, 2 min, Tripping
07:04Rozsival, 2 min, Cross Check
10:39Jones, 2 min, Tripping
16:02Versteeg, 2 min, Cross Check
3RD PERIOD
11:18Bickell, 2 min, Too Many Men on the Ice(bench)
Shots On Goal
 123T
CHI761225
NSH4131633
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Antti Raanta59:19266
Pekka Rinne60:00205
Game Information
Attendance - 17355
Referees - Tim Peel, Justin St. Pierre
Linesmen - Kiel Murchison, Ryan Galloway
 
Other Games
Buf 1 Final
Bos 4
Phi 4 Final
OT
Pitt 3
NYR 0 Final
OT
Mon 1
Tor 0 Final
Ott 1
Colu 3 Final
Fla 2
SJ 3 Final
Pho 2
Van 2 Final
Edm 5
Ana 4 Final
LA 3