Rinne, Predators continue to stymie Blackhawks
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In their first trip to Bridgestone Arena since getting swept by the Nashville Predators in last season's Western Conference playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks were once again stymied by Pekka Rinne.
The Nashville goalie turned away 37 shots, including at least five point-blank chances, to lead his team to a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.
Rinne stoned Patrick Kane twice during one first-period sequence. He also denied Jonathan Toews in the blue paint in the second period shortly after the Predators scored the tiebreaking goal at 3:48 on Austin Watson's deflection of a Matt Irwin slapper.
In the third period, Rinne preserved Nashville's ninth win in 11 home games by stopping Nick Schmaltz on a short-handed breakaway.
The Predators (15-6-3) started a four-game homestand with their 10th win in 13 November games. It was just the second loss in six games for the Blackhawks, who haven't won three in a row yet.
Nashville started the scoring at 3:16 of the first period with Filip Forsberg's 12th goal of the season on a rebound of Viktor Arvidsson's shot. Forsberg poked the puck inside the right post past backup goalie Anton Forsberg, making his fifth start of the season.
Chicago (12-9-3) equalized at 5:10 of the first as Tommy Wingels converted Alex DeBrincat's silky pass from behind the net into his second goal of the season.
The eventual game-winner came at 2:32 of the third period with Kane in the box for crosschecking Kevin Fiala. Roman Josi drilled a slapper by Forsberg from the left circle for his sixth goal, giving the Predators a power-play marker in all 11 home games.
Lance Bouma drew the Blackhawks within a goal with his second of the season on a snapper at 9:38, but they couldn't tie it even though they had a late power play and played most of the last three minutes with a sixth attacker.
Forsberg finished with 28 saves in his first career start against Nashville.
NOTES: Chicago RW Patrick Kane was fined $5,000 by the NHL on Tuesday for a slash against Anaheim's Nick Ritchie on Monday night in the third period of the Blackhawks' 7-3 win. The fine is the maximum allowed under the NHL's collective-bargaining agreement. ... Nashville D Yannick Weber and LW Scott Hartnell (lower-body injuries) skated with the team Tuesday morning but missed their eighth straight game apiece. ... Chicago scratched D Michal Kempny, C Tanner Kero and D Jordan Oesterle. ... The Predators' scratches were LW Cody McLeod and C Frederick Gaudreau.