Predators Down Blackhawks in an OT Flash

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Despite allowing the tying goal in the final minute of regulation, the Nashville Predators were confident heading into overtime.

Martin Erat scored at 19 seconds of overtime Thursday night to give the Predators a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Erat, skating through the low slot, deflected a pass from Radek Bonk off Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook's skate by goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

"When I went on the ice with Radek, we just said that we are going to go for it," Erat said. "I just drove to the net, and Bonky made a great play. I think it went off my stick, off the defenseman and in the goal."

Alexander Radulov scored a goal and added two assists for the Predators.

The Predators scored the game's first goal, allowed three Chicago second-period goals and then scored three third-period goals, before allowing the tying goal from Jason Williams with 43 seconds remaining in regulation.

Williams' goal came with the Blackhawks on a power play, as well as with Khabibulin on the bench for an extra attacker.

"Kane made a great pass across the center, and I just tried to get it on net," Williams said. "Obviously, we are disappointed that we let a victory get away."

"We took a penalty there at the end, and they executed a nice play," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We are a pretty good third-period team, with or without the lead."

Nashville improved its record in the month of November to 6-0-1, with two of the victories coming against Central Division-rival Chicago.

"You have to give them credit for the way they came out in the third," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "For us, the problem was coverage, we will get that fixed."

Standing in the left faceoff circle, Williams received a cross-ice pass from Patrick Kane and Williams' one-timer beat Nashville goaltender Chris Mason to the short-side.

The Blackhawks were 2-for-3 on the power play.

Jason Arnott, Vernon Fiddler and Radek Bonk also scored for the Predators. Jonathan Toews, James Wisniewski and Patrick Sharp were the other goal scorers for the Blackhawks.

"We were down two goals going into the third period, so it is huge to get two points out of this game," Fiddler said.

Toews' goal was his eighth of the season, which leads the Blackhawks and is also tops among NHL rookies.

Mason made 27 saves to get the win for the Predators, while Khabibulin made 32 saves in defeat for Chicago.

"The first period, we played them pretty straight-up, and then in the second period, we kind of let them dictate the play," Mason said. "In the third, we just came out and pretty much dominated them."


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