Nashville at Chicago

Kariya doubles Predators to fifth straight positive result


CHICAGO -- Paul Kariya showed off his goal-scoring form that his been missing most of this season.

Kariya scored twice in the third period, and the Nashville Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight win.

Kariya's power-play goal with 7:02 left snapped a 1-1 tie. He fired a screened shot from the top of the right circle past goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

"It's been a tough year goal-scoring wise for me, but tonight I got a couple of breaks," Kariya said. "We were doing a better job in the third period of getting shots through, through traffic or screens or whatever."

Kariya tied it at 1 just 6:41 into the period ruining Khabibulin's bid for his first regular-season shutout since March 1, 2004, when he was with Tampa Bay.

Kariya has only nine goals this season, but he leads the Predators with 34 points. He had six of Nashville's 19 shots on Khabibulin -- including four in the final period.

"He's been one of our best forwards the last little while here," coach Barry Trotz said. "In Paul Kariya fashion, he got a couple of big goals tonight. He made it happen."

The late rally enabled Nashville to beat Chicago for the first time in four meetings this season.

"They've got a good hockey club out there and they've had our number all year," Kariya said. "It wasn't a great game for us, but we'll take the two points."

Chris Mason made 28 saves while starting his 13th straight start for Nashville. He is 9-3-1 since top goalie Tomas Vokoun underwent hand surgery on Nov. 27.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game," Mason said. "It seems like they're one of the hottest teams in the league right now. We were lucky enough to be able to wait it out."

Martin Havlat scored for the Blackhawks, 7-2-3 since Denis Savard replaced fired coach Trent Yawney on Nov. 27.

Havlat has five goals and five assists in seven games since returning from a sprained right ankle.

"We played pretty well, but in the third period we gave the game away," said Khabibulin, who finished with 17 saves. "You can't do that in your own building."

Havlat opened the scoring with 5:36 left in the first period.

After Ryan Suter's clearing pass bounded off Blackhawks forward Peter Bondra, Havlat caught it at center ice with his glove. He dropped the puck to his stick, moved in 1-on-1 against defenseman Greg Zanon and beat Mason with a shot high on the stick side.

"We had chances to get it to 2-0," Savard said. "Obviously, we need to shoot a little more.

"Their goalie made some good saves. Overall, our performance was good. We just didn't finish."

Kariya tied it after taking a a long lead pass from David Legwand. Kariya gained a step on defenseman Duncan Keith and ripped a low shot past Khabibulin's glove side.


  • The Blackhawks dressed seven defensemen.
  • Bondra, signed by Blackhawks on Dec. 10, needs one goal for 500 in the NHL. He scored No. 499 in his first game with Chicago on Dec. 12 at St. Louis, but is scoreless in four games since.
  • Nashville LW Darcy Hordichuk was a healthy scratch.
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Adrian Aucoin gives Martin Erat a facial massage by the boards, one that Erat probably does not want. (AP)
Adrian Aucoin gives Martin Erat a facial massage by the boards, one that Erat probably does not want. (AP)
Nashville  (23-8-3) «0022
Chicago (14-14-5)1001
Three Stars
P. Kariya

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
M. Havlat

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
C. Mason

Saves: 28
Save Pct.: .966

Related Video

Scoring Summary
14:24Martin Havlat (12), Wrist Shot - Assist: Peter Bondra
06:41Paul Kariya (8), Snap Shot - Assists: David Legwand, Kimmo Timonen
12:58Power Play - Paul Kariya (9), Wrist Shot - Assists: Martin Erat, Kimmo Timonen
Penalty Summary
00:26Bondra: High sticking - 2 min.
03:03Smithson: High sticking - 2 min.
04:28Lapointe: Hooking - 2 min.
17:05Suter: Tripping - 2 min.
04:48Suter: Holding the stick - 2 min.
06:04Timonen: Delaying Game - 2 min.
09:14Wisniewski: Hooking - 2 min.
15:57Legwand: Holding - 2 min.
00:54Arkhipov: Interference - 2 min.
06:56Smithson: Too Many Men on the Ice(bench) - 2 min.
11:39Cullimore: Hooking - 2 min.
17:33Weber: Holding - 2 min.
Chris Mason60:00281
Nikolai Khabibulin58:40172
Attendance - 10201
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Brad Meier, Brad Watson
Line Judges - Brad Lazarowich, Dan Schachte
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Colu 0 Final
Det 5
Dal 1 Final
Ana 4