CHICAGO – Once again, they were behind in the third period by a trio of goals against the Predators, and maybe that brought back some good recent memories for some Blackhawks’ fans.
On Wednesday night against Nashville, in a potentially season-saving game, the home team stormed back from a 4-1 deficit to tie it in regulation. Brandon Hagel’s overtime game-winner finally gave the Blackhawks a win over the Predators this season.
But similar luck wouldn’t be on the host’s side two days later, and once again, a season could be on the brink.
Nashville broke open a scoreless game in the middle of the second period, getting scores from Ryan Johansen and Luke Kunin to take what would end up being an insurmountable lead. The Predators would take that three-goal lead on a score Erik Haula in the third and would surrender only one late in a 3-1 victory.
Juuse Saros stopped 29 shots from the Blackhawks on the night, with Vinnie Hinostroza breaking up the shutout with just over three minutes to go. Malcolm Subban, who was making his second-straight start, stopped 25 shots, but it wasn’t enough for a Blackhawks’ offense that couldn’t make the rally.
Now it’s put the team in a tough position moving forward as they now sit five points behind the Predators for the last playoff spot. Not only do they trail Nashville in the standings but also the Stars, who are now a point ahead of the Blackhawks for fifth in the Central Division.
Friday night also brings to a close a very one-sided series between both teams in the shortened 2021 season that was dominated by Nashville. In eight games against the Predators, the Blackhawks were only able to win one game, force overtime in one and a shootout in another.
That’s just four out of a possible 16 points earned, and it could end up leading to their season coming to an end in early May