By Chris Kuc
With each passing game, the Blackhawks are beginning to resemble exactly what they are: A third-place hockey team.
The Hawks lost for the fifth time in their last eight outings when the Predators beat them 3-2 on Friday night at the United Center. The defending Stanley Cup champions began the night in third in the Central Division and remain there with 15 games remaining in the regular season.
“Our pace to our game and our intelligence to our game were non-existent the last couple of games,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
Mike Fisher, Patric Hornqvist and Ryan Ellis scored for the Predators with Roman Josi assisting on all three goals and Shea Weber on two. Pekka Rinne came up big in goal with 31 saves, giving in only to Jonathan Toews and Peter Regin.