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Blackhawks score early, often in rout of Predators

Feb 15, 2008 - 5:19 AM
By Jim Diamond PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Rookie Jonathan Toews scored twice and added an assist to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 6-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

Defenseman Brent Sopel, rookie Patrick Kane and Dave Bolland each recorded two assists for Chicago, which posted its second lopsided road victory in as many nights. On Wednesday, the Blackhawks skated to a 7-2 triumph over the Blue Jackets in Columbus.

It also was the fourth straight victory over the Predators for the Blackhawks, who finished their seven-game road trip at 3-2-2.

"That's two games straight where we have played with a lot of structure and a lot of puck protection," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "It's been a long trip, but our guys really found a way to dig in and get the job done. Everybody is looking forward to getting home."

All-Star defenseman Duncan Keith got Chicago on the board early, scoring just 64 seconds after the opening faceoff.

After a pass by Martin Havlat, Keith wristed a shot from the left faceoff circle that beat goaltender Chris Mason between the pads. Mason had little chance to stop the shot as teammate Alexander Radulov inadvertently screened him.

"The first goal for our team seems to be huge," Keith said. "I kind of jumped in the play, and I think the goalie was a little screened and I caught him underneath."

Toews doubled the advantage at 6:22 of the first with his 16th goal of the season.

The 2006 first-round pick, who made his return at Vancouver on Sunday after missing 16 games due to a sprained knee, carried the puck down the left wing, blowing by defenseman Greg de Vries in the process. The 19-year-old Toews went behind the net and scored on a wraparound before Mason could cover the far side.

"We missed him when he wasn't in because he's such a go-to guy for us," Savard said of Toews. "As young as he is, he's just a special player."

Nashville coach Barry Trotz called a timeout following Toews' goal in an attempt to change the momentum, a plan that seemed to work for a little over six minutes before Toews struck again.

"We weren't happy with the way we came out," Trotz said. "They came out with a pretty focused mission and got us on our heels."

This time, Toews' wrister from the left circle had barely enough momentum to reach the goal line. Mason badly misplayed the shot, however, and the puck slid between his pads with 7:18 remaining in the period to give the Blackhawks a 3-0 bulge.

"In Vancouver and last night, I tried not to put too much pressure on myself," Toews said. "Tonight, I started feeling better, and when you do that, you can make plays."

The goal spelled the end of the night for Mason, who stopped just four of the seven shots he faced before being replaced by Dan Ellis.

The uneven first period was quite a divergence for the Predators. Nashville had outscored its opponents, 26-7, in the opening 20 minutes over its previous 20 games.

"We were terrible, we came out with no jump or energy, it was awful," Mason said. "It was embarrassing to be in your own building and play like that."

Ellis surrendered goals 42 seconds apart by Rene Bourque and defenseman Cam Barker early in the second period as Chicago built a 5-0 advantage. Patrick Sharp's 27th goal of the season at 3:47 of the third completed the Blackhawks' outburst.

"It was one of those nights you have to forget," Trotz said. "A very talented team handed it to us tonight. We got schooled in the game of hockey tonight."

Captain Jason Arnott spoiled Patrick Lalime's shutout bid at 6:12, scoring on the power play. It was the 20th goal of the season for the All-Star, who has reached the plateau each of the last nine campaigns.

Lalime turned aside 24 shots, while Ellis finished with 10 saves.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 3 2 1 6
    NASHVILLE 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - DUNCAN KEITH 8 (MARTIN HAVLAT, ROBERT LANG) 1:04
    CHI - JONATHAN TOEWS 16 (BRENT SOPEL, JORDAN HENDRY) 6:22
    CHI - JONATHAN TOEWS 17 (PATRICK KANE, BRENT SEABROOK) 12:42
    2ND PRD: CHI - RENE BOURQUE 6 (BRENT SOPEL,

    Feb 14 10:27 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 6
    NASHVILLE 1
    3RD PRD: NAS - JASON ARNOTT 20 (MAREK ZIDLICKY, JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT)
    6:12

    Blackhawks vs. PredatorsFeb 14 10:04 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 6
    NASHVILLE 0
    3RD PRD: CHI - PATRICK KANE 14 (JONATHAN TOEWS) 3:47

    Blackhawks vs. PredatorsFeb 14 10:01 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 3 2 5
    NASHVILLE 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - DUNCAN KEITH 8 (MARTIN HAVLAT, ROBERT LANG) 1:04
    CHI - JONATHAN TOEWS 16 (BRENT SOPEL, JORDAN HENDRY) 6:22
    CHI - JONATHAN TOEWS 17 (PATRICK KANE, BRENT SEABROOK) 12:42
    2ND PRD: CHI - RENE BOURQUE 6

    Feb 14 9:37 PM


  • CORRECTION
    NHL CHICAGO 5
    NASHVILLE 0
    2ND PRD: CHI - RENE BOURQUE 6 (BRENT SOPEL, DAVE BOLLAND) 2:28

    Blackhawks vs. PredatorsFeb 14 9:16 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 4
    NASHVILLE 0
    2ND PRD: CHI - CAM BARKER 3 (DAVE BOLLAND, JAMES WISNIEWSKI) 3:10

    Blackhawks vs. PredatorsFeb 14 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 3 3
    NASHVILLE 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - DUNCAN KEITH 8 (MARTIN HAVLAT, ROBERT LANG) 1:04
    CHI - JONATHAN TOEWS 16 (BRENT SOPEL, JORDAN HENDRY) 6:22
    CHI - JONATHAN TOEWS 17 (PATRICK KANE, BRENT SEABROOK) 12:42
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND

    Feb 14 8:42 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 3
    NASHVILLE 0
    1ST PRD: CHI - JONATHAN TOEWS 17 (PATRICK KANE, BRENT SEABROOK) 12:42

    Blackhawks vs. PredatorsFeb 14 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 2
    NASHVILLE 0
    1ST PRD: CHI - JONATHAN TOEWS 16 (BRENT SOPEL, JORDAN HENDRY) 6:22

    Blackhawks vs. PredatorsFeb 14 8:20 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    NASHVILLE 0
    1ST PRD: CHI - DUNCAN KEITH 8 (MARTIN HAVLAT, ROBERT LANG) 1:04

    Blackhawks vs. PredatorsFeb 14 8:11 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Blackhawks vs. PredatorsFeb 10 11:09 PM