In their first trip to Nashville since the playoffs, Blackhawks fall to the Predators 3-2
NASHVILLE – If they entered the building feeling a big queasy, that would have been justified. The last time they stepped skate onto the ice at Bridgestone Arena, it was one of the lower moments in this proud era of Blackhawks’ hockey.
In Game 4 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Predators finished off a resounding sweep of the regular season’s best team in the Western Conference with a 4-1 victory over the Blackhawks. It completed a series where Joel Quenneville’s team scored just three goals and were shutout twice on their home ice.
What followed were a few major changes to the roster by general manager Stan Bowman and a shake-up of Quenneville’s staff. A lot of the reason the Blackhawks looked like they did on Tuesday was because of what transpired the last time they were in Nashville on April 20th.
This time the effort was much better than what they put out last Spring – and on a back-to-back nonetheless. Still the result was the same, as the Predators had a bit more on offense to knock off the Blackhawks 3-2 on Tuesday evening.
Austin Watson’s second period goal and Roman Josi’s in the third period gave Nashville a two-goal advantage early in the third period on Blackhawks backup Anton Forsberg. He was in net for Corey Crawford for the back-end of the team’s second-consecutive game and made 28 saves on the night.
Lance Bouma got the Blackhawks a goal closer midway through the third with his second goal of the season, but that was the last the team would beat Pekka Rinne all night. The veteran Predators goalie, just as he did last spring, frustrated the Blackhawks with 37 saves as they fell to 12-9-3 on the season.
A small bit of redemption in Nashville will have to wait until at least January 30th, when they head south to face the Predators for the second and final time of the regular season.