After a soft performance on Thursday night, the Blackhawks played a complete game in Nashville on Saturday afternoon. A perfect Ray Emery led the Hawks to a 1-0 victory in the first of two games in two days against the Predators.
Nashville was only credited with 20 shots on net in the game while the Blackhawks blocked 13 more. After suffering his first regulation loss of the season, Emery posted his second shutout of the season with a strong performance.
Bryan Bickell scored the only goal of the game, converting a pretty pass from Michal Handzus. Handzus played a fantastic game, winning 10 of 15 faceoffs with one hit and one blocked shot.
Elsewhere for the Hawks, Jonathan Toews won 11 of 17 faceoffs to lead the Hawks. Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson each blocked four shots.
Coach Joel Quenneville relied less on his top forwards than he has in recent games. Patrick Kane (16:39), Marian Hossa (16:38), Brandon Saad (18:00) and Jonathan Toews (18:46) saw their ice time cut dramatically. Only one Hawks forward – Brandon Bollig (9:33) - was held to less than ten minutes of ice time.
Also worth noting, the Blackhawks killed all three Nashville penalties. Chicago hasn’t allowed a powerplay goal since March 16, a stretch of nine games. In those nine games, the Hawks have successfully killed 16 penalties.