Keith, Blackhawks stay hot, top Predators
December 17, 2013 (AP) – Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith were too much for the Nashville Predators.
Keith scored a goal and added an assist to lead the Blackhawks to a 3-1 win over the Predators on Tuesday night.
Kane and Nick Leddy also scored for Chicago, which has won five of six.
Shea Weber scored for the Predators.
Keith scored the game’s first goal at 1:29 of the opening period on a slap shot from the left side that beat Nashville goaltender Carter Hutton on the stick side.
“I try to have a good gap and be good defensively,” Keith said. “As a defenseman, that’s your first and foremost job is how you defend. It’s something I take a lot of pride in. The offense kind of just takes care of itself.”
Making his fourth consecutive start, Hutton had his three-game winning streak snapped. On Monday, he was selected the NHL’s third star of the week. Hutton spent the past two seasons in the Blackhawks organization before signing with Nashville in the offseason.
Weber tied it at 3:03 of the first with a power-play goal.
On the right side, Roman Josi faked a shot and then sent a pass to Weber at the top of the right circle where the Nashville captain beat Chicago goaltender Antti Raanta with a one-timer.
That was the only goal Raanta allowed in the first, despite 17 Nashville shots on goal in the period. Chicago only allowed 11 Nashville shots over the final two periods combined.
“I just thought we just mismanaged a few situations tonight that gave them enough momentum,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “We should have got points out of this game. We played well enough to do that, but the second period and the third period, they did a good job. We couldn’t get any forecheck going. We couldn’t get any sustained pressure.”
The Blackhawks answered back at 16:14 of the first with a highlight reel power-play goal by Kane.
Skating down the right side, the left-handed shooting Kane lifted a tough angle backhand just underneath the crossbar for his team-leading 20th goal of the season.
“It’s a play that we have been trying off the breakout on the power play with the entry,” Kane said. “I just tried to hit that spot, lucky enough, it went in.”
It was the 10th straight game in which Kane has recorded at least one point, two shy of his career best.
“He’s got a lot of tools,” Hutton said. “He can do a lot of things with the puck. He’s a pretty special player. We gave him time and space like that he kind of made us pay.”
Leddy scored on the power play at 11:33 of the second to cap the scoring.
Standing on the left side, he put home the rebound of Brandon Saad’s shot from the right side. The puck entered and exited the net so quickly, it was initially ruled no goal on the ice, but a quick video review credited Leddy with his fourth of the season.
“I liked our game,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “I liked our attention to detail, very businesslike and came out to a good start. The power play was big again for us.”
*Photo courtesy of Frederick Breedon/Getty Images