Winless in their last eight affairs, the Nashville Predators were able to snap their seven game losing streak by forcing their game against the Chicago Blackhawks into overtime.
Blackhawks’ forward Marian Hossa scored the overtime game winner on the power play 52 seconds in. The power play came from Rich Clune’s high stick that allowed the Blackhawks to have a four minute power play.
Victor Bartley made a rookie mistake at the halfway point in the third period that may leave him thinking about when trying to fall asleep Friday night, despite adding two assists. The 25 year old passed the puck right on the tape of Michal Handzus, who sniped Pekka Rinne off the crossbar and into the net to give Chicago a 4-3 lead.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the win, but we will take on the positives,” said Nashville forward Matt Halischuk.
Halischuk was on his game the entire night playing “Predators’ hockey”. The gritty forward was working hard creating scoring opportunities, which he capitalized on twice. He ended the night with two goals, one assist, thus notching his first multi-goal game in the league.
Another Predator who has thrived off the extra ice time due to injuries is Bobby Butler, who now has three points in his past four games. Butler forced the game into overtime 16:26 in the third by being at the right place at the right time.
Wearing the forever infamous number 46, Kevin Henderson made his NHL debut a successful one. After changing Nashville’s second goal twice, Henderson reclaimed the title as goal scorer that gave his team their only lead of the game.
According to Aaron Sims, voice of the Milwaukee Admirals, during their match against the Charlotte Checkers, teammates in Milwaukee cheered on the bench when they heard Henderson scored his first NHL goal.
Halischuk had some roots with the new Pred before being reunited as NHLers in Kitchener playing in the OHL. “We used to be roommates in juniors,” said Halischuk. “It was a special moment for him and congrats to him.”
“It was the best moment of my life,” said Henderson, who realized the stage he was playing at in Chicago with his parents watching. “It’s a dream come true.”
With this overtime loss, the Predators are now six spots out of last in the NHL with 39 points. It is likely they will drop to as far as third-worst in the league due to having one or two games in hand—depending on which team.
Goals and Assists
1-0 CHI: PP Duncan Keith – Stalberg and Toews at 4:48 in the 1st
1-1 tie: Matt Halischuk – Klein and Bartley at 6:31 in the 1st
1-2 NSH: Kevin Henderson – Mueller and Butler at 10:42 in the 1st
2-2 tie: Brandon Saad – Toews (2) and Keith at 13:36 in the 1st
3-2 CHI: Patrick Kane – Bickell at 9:20 in the 2nd
3-3 tie: Matt Halischuk (2) – Bartley (2) at 12:31 in the 2nd
4-3 CHI: Michal Handzus – unassisted at 10:07 in the 3rd
4-4 tie: Bobby Butler – Halischuk and Weber at 16:26 in the 3rd
5-4 CHI: PP Marian Hossa – Kane and Keith (2) at 0:52 in OT
My Three Stars of the Game
1. Matt Halischuk: 2 Goals, Assist
2. Kevin Henderson: Goal
3. Duncan Keith: Goal, 2 Assists
Predators scratches: #12 C Mike Fisher (hand), #18 W Brandon Yip (lower body), #27 W Patric Hornqvist (upper body), #28 C Paul Gaustad (shoulder) and #57 W Gabriel Bourque (knee)
Blackhawks scratches: #10 W Patrick Sharp (shoulder), #14 C Drew LeBlanc, #22 W Jamal Mayers, #32 D Michal Rozsival (upper body), #52 W Brandon Bollig and #30 G Ray Emery (lower body)