After a dominant win at home on Monday night, the Blackhawks had to travel to Nashville where they were swept out of the 2017 postseason.
Early, the Preds were bringing it. Filip Forsberg beat Anton Forsberg to give Nashville a 1-0 lead 3:16 into the game.
But the Hawks fought back – something we didn’t see in April.
Less than two minutes after the Forsberg goal, Alex DeBrincat saved an icing and fed Tommy Wingels to tie the game.
DeBrincat stayed hot after his first career hat trick on Monday, and after a prolonged point drought Patrick Sharp picked up the second assist on the Wingels goal.
Chicago had to kill a Cody Franson penalty in the last couple minutes and Duncan Keith took an unsportsmanlike penalty after the final horn, giving Nashville a power play to open the second. The Hawks had a 14-7 shot advantage after 20 minutes.
The Hawks successfully killed the Keith penalty but Austin Watson gave Nashville a 2-1 lead at 3:48 into the second. Chicago would get a late power play in the second with PK Subban in the box but couldn’t convert.
After 40 minutes, Chicago had a 25-20 shot advantage but trailed 2-1 on the scoreboard.
Patrick Kane got fined earlier on Tuesday but frustration caught up to him early in the third. He was sent to the box for high-sticking and Nashville made the Hawks pay. Roman Josi extended the lead to 3-1 while Kane was in the box. It appeared the Josi shot was redirected off Brent Seabrook’s skate.
Seven minutes later, the Hawks would claw back into the game with a goal from Lance Bouma.
John Hayden set up the goal, Bouma’s second of the season. Jan Rutta also picked up an assist on the Bouma goal.
Wingels went to the box at 12:48 but the Hawks were able to kill off the penalty.
At 15:37, DeBrincat was tripped by Josi and the Blackhawks got their third power play of the night. After 1:35 of empty power play time, coach Joel Quenneville pulled Forsberg skated to the bench for an extra attacker with 2:45 left on the game clock.
Nashville killed the penalty and Forsberg had to come back out for a neutral zone faceoff, but quickly retreated to the bench once the Hawks got control of the puck.
Chicago had a series of attempts in Pekka Rinne’s kitchen in the final minutes with the extra man on the ice but couldn’t beat Nashville’s netminder.
For the third time in as many games already this season, a game between the Blackhawks and Predators was decided by one goal. Unfortunately for Chicago, this round went to Nashville.
Seabrook had the lowest ice time on the Hawks’ blue line, skating only 14:29 in the loss. Connor Murphy skated 16:42 and led the Hawks with three blocked shots. Cody Franson skated 18:46 and finished tied with Kane for the team lead with six shots on net.
Richard Panik, who’s been dormant for some time, skated only 8:14 and was minus-one in the game. He had the lowest ice time on the Chicago roster on Tuesday night. Hayden skated 9:17 but led Chicago with five hits and added a blocked shot with his assist on the Bouma goal.
Jonathan Toews won 12 of 22 at the dot while Artem Anisimov won nine of 19 faceoffs. The Ryan Hartman experiment at center continued; he won two of nine draws in the game. Wingels won half of his ten faceoffs.
Forsberg had a decent night in net for Chicago, stopping 29 of 32 in the loss.
The Hawks host Dallas on Thursday night.