Blackhawks edge Predators in shootout

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 02, 2013
Defenseman Michal Rozsival scored in the fifth round of shootout after Jonathan Toews also connected in the tiebreaker, and the Chicago Blackhawks pulled out a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Monday. Rozsival, who hasn't scored a goal this season, beat Pekka Rinne with a high shot in his first attempt in a shootout this season. Chicago's Patrick Kane scored his team-leading 19th goal and rookie Brandon Saad scored in regulation to help the Blackhawks win their second straight. The Predators were outshot 27-11 through the first two periods, but stormed back in the third to erase a 2-0 deficit on goals by Dave Legwand and rookie Taylor Beck and force overtime. Craig Smith scored in the second round of the shootout for Nashville, but the Predators dropped their third straight (0-1-2) Chicago's Corey Crawford made 25 saves. Rinne was sharp for a second straight game, stopping 38 shots through overtime. Nashville lost 1-0 in overtime in its previous game on Saturday, with Rinne stopping 23 shots. Kane has points in 10 of his past 11 games, posting seven goals and nine assists during the span. With the win, the Blackhawks improved to 27-5-3 and a league-leading 57 points, one more than Pittsburgh. The Blackhawks played again without two of their top forwards, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp, who are out with upper-body injuries. Hossa missed his sixth game and Sharp sat out his 11th. Before the game, the Blackhawks acquired center Michal Handzus from the San Jose Sharks for a fourth-round draft pick. Handzus had one goal and one assist in 28 games this season, and is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Chicago center Dave Bolland and Nashville left wing Gabriel Bourque left Monday's games with injuries. Bolland originally went to the dressing room briefly midway through the first period after blocking a shot by Nashville defenseman Shea Weber. Following a faceoff in the Chicago zone, Weber's drive from the point struck Bolland in the abdomen, but he returned minutes later for two more shifts in the first. Bolland then left again following two shifts in the second. The Predators said Bourque suffered an upper-body injury. Saad opened the scoring on a screened shot with 11.3 seconds left in the first following a faceoff in the Nashville zone. Toews won the draw, pulling it back to Niklas Hjalmarsson at the right point. He passed to Saad, who fired low from midway down the right boards with Toews and Nashville defenseman Jonathon Blum tied up at the edge of the crease. Rinne stopped several prime scoring chances early in the second. Among the saves was a quick left pad stop of Andrew Shaw four minutes in following a 2-on-1 break with Saad. Kane made it 2-0 with during 4-on-4 with 7:50 left in the second. He picked up a loose puck near the Chicago blue line, then skated down the right wing on a 2-on-1 break with Toews. Kane took the shot himself, and beat Rinne from the right circle. The Predators were dominated and outshot 18-4 in the second period, but bounced back and took charge in the third following Legwand's goal at 3:56. Nashville's Victor Bartley slid a slow shot on goal from center ice, and Crawford tried to smother the puck with his glove. But Legwand darted in between two Chicago defenders and poked the puck free and into the net to cut it to 2-1. Beck tied it at 2-all 3:30 later from the left of the crease. After taking a perfect cross-ice feed from Patric Hornqvist, Beck fired a one-time shot from 15 feet. Crawford sprawled and appeared to have stopped the shot, but the puck squirted free and barely crossed the goal line. Kane had a close-in chance in the final seconds of overtime. NOTES: Both Hossa and Sharp participated in Chicago's morning skate on Monday and could return Thursday against St. Louis. ''They're real close,'' Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ... Nashville C Mike Fisher missed his second game with upper-body injury. Prior to being sidelined, he had an eight-game point streak (five goals, four assists), his longest as a Predator. ... Handzus was benched the past six games with San Jose as the Sharks tried to get more speed in the lineup. His biggest contributions came in shootouts where he converted three of seven chances. He played eight games for Chicago in 2006-07 before being sidelined by a season-ending knee injury. ... To make room for Handzus, the Blackhawks sent LW Brandon Bollig of the AHL the Blackhawks.
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