Roman Josi collected three assists and Shea Weber had two as the Predators came into Chicago and handed the Blackhawks their fourth loss in seven games since the Olympic break.
Mike Fisher and Patric Hornqvist scored within a 3:18 window to give Nashville a 2-0 lead late in the first period. But Jonathan Toews scored his 26th of the season with only 16 seconds remaining in the frame to keep the Hawks within one at the first intermission.
The two teams skated a scoreless second period, and the Hawks opened the third with on a power play. Unfortunately, Ryan Ellis received an outlet pass from Josi as he left the box and scored on a breakaway to give the Preds a 3-1 lead. Peter Regin redirected a Johnny Oduya shot past Rinne, but that was the sum of the Blackhawks’ offense on the night.
In all four Chicago losses since the break, they have out-shot their opponent; on Friday night, the Hawks put 33 shots on net while the Preds were credited with 29.
Toews had a strong night in defeat once again, winning 19 of 23 faceoffs with his goal. Chicago’s captain has scored seven goals in the last six games.
Kris Versteeg played well, setting up Toews goal. Nick Leddy was credited with three blocked shots and three hits in the game. Oduya, Sheldon Brookbank and Brent Seabrook were also credited with three blocked shots each in the loss. Patrick Sharp led the Hawks with four hits.
After not participating in the morning skate, Brandon Bollig was limited to 5:49 in the game.
In their last three games (1-2-0), the Hawks have been limited to six goals and have been 0-9 on the power play against teams that rank in the lower half of the league in penalty killing: Buffalo (15th), Colorado (21st), and Nashville (25th).
The banged-up Red Wings, who beat Edmonton in a shootout on Friday night, will visit the United Center on Sunday evening. Detroit has lost four of six.
Also Friday night, a number of the Hawks’ top prospects were in action.
Stephen Johns scored two goals and added an assist and Vince Hinostroza was credited with two assists as Notre Dame blasted Boston College 7-2. For BC, Kevin Hayes was minus-two and Chris Calnan even; neither had a point in the loss.
Also in Hockey East action, defenseman Michael Paliotta had an assist but Vermont came up short, losing 3-2 to UMass-Lowell.
Forward John Hayden had a power play goal for Yale, but also lost on Friday night. The Bulldogs fell 6-2 to Quinnipiac.
In Ann Arbor, Justin Holl and Minnesota claimed the inaugural Big Ten title with a 3-2 win over Tyler Motte and Michigan. Motte was credited with an assist in the loss.
Ohio State defeated Penn State 4-2 and will finish their regular season against the Nittany Lions on Saturday. Defenseman Sam Jardine is second among Buckeyes defensemen with 12 points (1 goal, 11 assists).