Bryan Bickell scored in the first period, and Ray Emery made 20 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 1-0 Saturday for their third win in four games.
The Blackhawks improved to 12-0-1 against the Central Division this season and moved closer to clinching the playoff berth.
The Blackhawks won their third against Nashville this season and second in six days.
This is the first of a back-to-back between these teams with the second game Sunday night in Chicago.
Nashville lost its second straight and fourth in five games.
Emery posted his second shutout and the 13th of his career, and Chicago improved to 16-3-4 in one-goal games this season.
Chicago came in needing just four points to clinch that playoff berth. Now Blackhawks could clinch before taking the ice Sunday with losses by a couple other teams.
With the afternoon faceoff, enough of the Blackhawks' faithful got a flight to Nashville to make it feel like the United Center chanting, ''Let's go Hawks'' ...