Blackhawks win seven straight game, take over first in Central Division — for now


The Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators appeared to be heading to overtime — until Brian Campbell found himself wide open in the slot with only 1:05 remaining in regulation.

After taking a pass from Jonathan Toews, Campbell did the rest, snapping a shot by Juuse Saros to give Chicago a 4-3 lead and Nashville barely any time to conjure another comeback.

Patrick Kane added another goal 26 seconds later and the Blackhawks emerged with a 5-3 victory — their seventh consecutive win, which has put them into first in the Central Division and Western Conference.

For now, anyway. The Wild, one point back, have three games in hand.

“I know [the Wild] had an amazing run and we’ve had a nice run ourselves. All of a sudden you move up and obviously, whether it was just a dream or something like that, let’s keep the pressure on them,” said coach Joel Quenneville, per CSN Chicago.

“It was realistic keeping them in our sights.”

That’s Campbell’s first goal since Jan. 10, as he snapped his scoring drought at 20 games.

And then there is Jordin Tootoo. He finally buried his first goal — and first point — of the season in his 38th game. That goal gave Chicago a two-goal lead. Prior to that, he had a spirited fight at center ice with Predators’ tough guy Cody McLeod.

“He got in a fight and gave us momentum, he drew a penalty that we scored on, he scored a goal, and he [generated] a lot of momentum on his shifts,” said Campbell of Tootoo, per the Chicago Sun-Times.

“He hasn’t played a whole lot lately. [But] he’s the first one out there [in practices] helping the goalies out. He works hard and he’s positive all the time. It’s nice that he gets some recognition. He deserves that.”