Preds torch Crawford, Hawks; even series at 1-1

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So much for the Game 2 being about the officials.

For much of tonight’s contest between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Nashville Predators, it seemed like some controversial calls may loom large. Instead, the Predators outright bombarded the Blackhawks in the third period, ultimately winning 6-2.

Now the story is about Joel Quenneville starting Corey Crawford instead of Scott Darling, even if perhaps the focus should be on Nashville taking it to the established team from Chicago.

Nashville never trailed in Game 2. It seemed like it would be a nail-biter for a while … until that third period. The game went from a thriller to a blowout during an incredible finish by Nashville:

The series is now 1-1 as it shifts back to the United Center in Chicago.

Both teams have questions. Shea Weber left the game with a lower-body injury and did not return. The Blackhawks got blown out of the arena and face a goalie conundrum. They may also mull over some lineup tweaks, including the possible return of trade deadline find Antoine Vermette.

Either way, the Blackhawks and Predators look like they’ll put together the kind of series you’d expect from the excellent Central Division.