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Blackhawks beat Predators for 7th straight win

Published: Saturday, April 20, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(AP photo)
Blackhawks' Patrick Kane (88) and Nashville Predators' Victor Bartley (64) collide during the second period Friday at the United Center.

CHICAGO – Marian Hossa scored a power-play goal just 52 seconds into overtime and the streaking Blackhawks swept the season series against the Nashville Predators for the first time with a 5-4 victory Friday night.

With Rich Clune in the penalty box serving a four-minute minor for high sticking, Patrick Kane sent a pass across the ice to Hossa, who one-timed it past Pekka Rinne for his 17th goal of the season.

Kane, Michal Handzus, Duncan Keith and Brandon Saad also scored for the NHL-best Blackhawks, who have won seven in a row.

Slumping Nashville has dropped eight in a row and 11 of 12 overall. Matt Halischuk had two goals and Kevin Henderson scored in his first NHL game, but the Predators still lost to the Blackhawks for the fourth time this month and the sixth consecutive occasion dating to last season.

The Hawks and Nashville were tied at 2 after the first period, and exchanged goals again in the second. Kane gave the Blackhawks the lead when he got a pass from Bryan Bickell and slid the puck between Rinne's legs for his team-best 21st of the season at 9:20, but Halischuk then got his second of the game when he followed his own shot on a breakaway, making it 3-3 with 7:29 left in the period.

Handzus intercepted a pass by Victor Bartley midway through the third and beat Rinne into the top of the goal, giving the Hawks the lead once again. It was the second of the season for the veteran center, who is in his second stint with the Blackhawks after he was acquired in a trade with San Jose on April 1.

But the Predators tied it when Bobby Butler rushed in for a rebound score with 3½ minutes remaining, beating Corey Crawford high into the net.

The dramatic finish came after a crazy first period that featured a pair of goals for each team.

Keith's third of the season and first in 14 games put the Hawks in front. It also was the first power-play goal for the Blackhawks since March 29 against Anaheim, snapping a string of 20 unsuccessful chances over nine games.

The Predators responded with a pair of rebound scores. First, Halischuk poked the puck through Crawford's legs to tie it at 1 at 6:31. Then Butler drove to the net and Henderson slammed it home in a scrum in front of the goal.

Nashville's lead didn't last very long, with Saad tying it at 2 with his 10th of the season at 13:36. Saad, a contender for the Calder Trophy awarded to the NHL's top rookie, has seven goals and 15 assists in his last 24 games.

Notes: G Ray Emery (lower body), D Michal Rozsival (upper body) and RW Patrick Sharp (upper body) were among the scratches for the Hawks. Each is considered day to day. Carter Hutton, recalled from the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs on Thursday, was the backup for Crawford. ... The Blackhawks held a pregame ceremony to honor longtime broadcaster Pat Foley for his 30 seasons with the team. Foley was presented with a commemorative painting and platinum microphone. "I feel very blessed," Foley told the sellout crowd of 22,014. ... Cs Mike Fisher and Paul Gaustad, LW Gabriel Bourque and RW Patric Hornqvist were the notable scratches for the Predators. ... Henderson was recalled from Milwaukee of the AHL on Friday morning.

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