The Nashville Predators don’t have big name forwards like the Chicago Blackhawks do, but the Predators certainly have no problem scoring goals. Six different Nashville players found the back of the net on Sunday to lead them to a 6-1 win against Chicago.
Nashville took the lead at 6:16 of the first period on the strength of a Matt Halischuk goal and never looked back. Trade deadline addition Andrei Kostitsyn ended up with the game-winning goal. Alexander Radulov got an assist to give him a point in all three of his games since he returned to the NHL.
This was a rough start for Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford, who seemed to have finally turned a corner lately. Crawford allowed just five goals in his previous four starts coming into this contest, but he was yanked after surrendering four goals in 41:47 minutes.
At the other end of the ice, Pekka Rinne turned aside 24 shots. This is Rinne’s 41st victory of the season and it maintains his tie for the NHL lead with Marc-Andre Fleury, who also won Sunday.
This victory allowed Nashville to leapfrog over the Detroit Red Wings and claim the fourth seed in the Western Conference. However, Detroit has played in one less game and they are scheduled to take on the last place Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday. Meanwhile, Nashville will need to compete against the top seed St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.
Chicago’s chances of finishing the season with anything better than the sixth seed significantly diminished on Sunday. Nothing is set in stone, but the Blackhawks have their work cut out for them with games against New Jersey, St. Louis, and Nashville next week. Chicago will have to compete in all of those contests without Duncan Keith, who is serving a five-game suspension for elbowing Daniel Sedin in the head.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.