for this game

Predators light up Blackhawks

Mar 26, 2012 - 4:09 AM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Pekka Rinne posted 24 stops to collect his 41st win of the season, tying him with Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury for the league lead, and the Nashville Predators topped the Chicago Blackhawks, 6-1 in a Central Division battle at United Center on Sunday.

Mike Fisher, Shea Weber, Matt Halischuk and Patric Hornqvist contributed a goal and an assist each, while Francis Bouillon and Andrei Kostitsyn scored for the Predators, who have won two straight and three of their last five games.

With the victory, the Predators moved into fourth place in the Western Conference with 96 points, one ahead of the idle Detroit Red Wings.

"The overall playoff picture doesn't really matter to me right now," said Predators coach Barry Trotz. "The most important thing is we have to focus on ourselves."

Viktor Stalberg scored the lone goal for the Blackhawks, who had their five- game winning streak snapped. Corey Crawford was lit up for four tallies on just 15 shots, while Ray Emery gave up two goals on nine shots.

"We didn't have anything going tonight," said Chicago forward Patrick Sharp. "And when we did try to generate some offense we weren't able to get any good shots on the net."

Chicago holds a five-point lead over Phoenix, which lost to St. Louis on Sunday, for the sixth spot in the Western Conference.

Nashville opened the scoring 6:16 into the first stanza after Brandon Yip took the puck around behind the Chicago net and fed it out front to Halischuk, who snapped it past Crawford to give the Preds the early lead.

The Preds extended their lead to 2-0 with 4:32 to play in the first frame after David Legwand brought the puck into the offensive zone on the rush and dropped it back to Kostitsyn, who snapped one that Crawford got a piece of, but it found its way into the net.

Skating on the power play, the Predators made it 3-0 5:42 into the second period when Weber accepted a pass at the point from Ryan Suter and blasted a slap shot from the point that had so much velocity on it that it still found its way into the net after hitting the stick of Hawks forward Marian Hossa and being tipped in front by Hornqvist.

It was 4-0 for Nashville just two minutes into the third period after Bouillon fired a wrist shot from the left point that got through bodies in front and skipped past Crawford, ending his night.

Chicago finally got on the board at the 5:58 mark of the third period after Stalberg took a pass in the left circle, spun toward the net and flicked a wrist shot on goal that beat Rinne to make it 4-1.

But, the Predators quickly dashed any hopes of a comeback just 36 seconds later when Fisher won an offensive zone draw back to Weber and the Preds captain blasted one that beat Emery clean to make it 5-1.

Fisher capped the scoring with 2:27 to play after he went in on a 2-on-1 with Kostitsyn. Fisher got to the left circle before he decided to shoot, and ripped a wrist shot just under the crossbar.

Game Notes

The Blackhawks fell to 13-6-2 overall against Central Division opponents this year...Nashville has won four of the five matchups between the teams this season...The Preds improved to 31-3-4 when scoring the first goal and 21-2-3 when leading after the first period...Rinne improved to 18-0-1 when he doesn't allow a goal in the first period...Nashville forward Jordan Tootoo left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury after a fight with Blackhawks' winger Brandon Bollig...Chicago played without star defenseman Duncan Keith, who was serving the first game of a five-game suspension for elbowing Vancouver's Daniel Sedin in the head...It was the fourth time this season the Preds have scored six goals in a game...Chicago went 0-for-4 with the power play, while the Predators went 1-for-2 with the man advantage.