The Nashville Predators’ backs are against the ropes, but they’re still swinging. After spending the better part of the contest tied, Nashville broke out early in the third period to earn a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
On the same day that he was officially left off the list of Calder Trophy finalists, 20-year-old forward Filip Forsberg led the charge for the Predators with a hat trick. He scored their first goal at 14:42 of the first period to swiftly end Chicago’s early one-goal edge. He chipped in again in the third period to round out Nashville’s remarkable run of three goals in under three minutes:
Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg combined for a beautiful goal with just over five minutes remaining in the contest, but at that point it wasn’t enough to change the course of this game. Chicago went into tonight with an opportunity to eliminate the Predators and they couldn’t get the job done.
With the net empty, Forsberg was able to collect his final marker of the contest with 11 seconds to spare.
Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling had a commanding .969 save percentage in his first three playoff contests, but the 26-year-old rookie netminder had a rough game tonight, stopping just 24 of 28 shots. Meanwhile Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews were each limited to a pair of shots on goal.
The silver lining for the Blackhawks is that they have another chance to advance in Game 6 on Saturday and this time the Blackhawks will be playing at home.