Blackhawks down 3-0 in first round series after OT loss in Nashville
by Scott King
The Blackhawks had one simple adjustment to make Monday night in Nashville if they wanted to cut the Predators’ series lead to one game instead of three; they had to make Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne’s job tougher than they have so far.
The Hawks outshoot the Predators in Nashville’s two shutouts over Chicago in the series’ first two contests, but those shots weren’t quality, and they certainly weren’t from in front of the Preds’ net. Monday night the Hawks were dumping pucks in deep and crashing the net frequently. Those were two sights missing from games one and two.
Early in the second period, Hawks forward Dennis Rasmussen scored the team’s first goal of the postseason. It was also Rasmussen’s first playoff goal. Interesting to note, his first career goal went in against Pekka Rinne and Nashville on December 8 in 2015 as well.
Patrick Kane extended Chicago’s lead to 2-0 later in the second period on a power play. It was the team’s first power play goal of the playoffs as well Kane’s first of the postseason. Artem Anisimov provided a nice screen in front.
Kane tied his career high for shots on goal in a playoff game during the second period with seven. He first reached that many in three different postseason games in 2013. The winger finished Game three with nine shots on goal.
Early in the third period, Filip Forsberg put one past Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford that warranted a video review. The puck first bounced high off the glass behind the Hawks’ net before landing in front of it. It was determined the puck didn’t touch the net above the glass and the goal stood.
Forsberg later scored again, tipping a puck in with 5:52 left in regulation to bring the game to a 2-2 tie. The Blackhawks challenged the goal as Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson made contact with Crawford and turned him prior to the puck going in the net. Somehow, the call on the ice stood. It was a good goal. Likely because Crawford was out of the crease. The rule states any contact made with a goaltender outside the crease must be incidental.
The game would head to overtime with the Hawks in an insurmountable hole to climb out of if they didn’t score the next goal. The period was tight, each team waiting for the other to make a mistake to jump on.
Crawford made an uncanny blade save on Kevin Fiala with a little over five minutes remaining in the first overtime period. Fiala would have the last laugh putting it past the Chicago netminder after a poorly placed Marian Hossa drop pass with 3:16 remaining in the first overtime.
Game four is Thursday night in Nashville at 7:00 pm.
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