Ward's late goal lifts Predators over Blackhawks

Joel Ward's power-play goal with 26.7 seconds remaining in the third period snapped a tie and lifted the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

With Nick Boynton serving a delay-of-game penalty, Ward took a perfect goal mouth cross-ice feed from J.P. Dumont and ripped a shot past rookie goalie Corey Crawford from the left side of the net.

Steve Sullivan and Colin Wilson also scored for the Predators, (2-0). Wilson's goal early in the third tied it at 2. Nashville's Anders Lindback made his first NHL start and stopped 23 shots.

Chicago captain Jonathan Toews scored a goal and assisted on Patrick Kane's power-play tally.

Lindback made his NHL debut in the third period of the Predators' season-opening, 4-1 win over Anaheim last Saturday after No. 1 goalie Pekka Rinne sustained a lower-body injury.

Rinne didn't dress on Wednesday and is listed as day-to-day.

Crawford made his second straight start and stopped 24 shots. He started his first game on Monday in Buffalo and backstopped the Blackhawks to a 4-3 win, the defending Stanley Cup champions' first victory of the season.

Marty Turco, penciled in as Chicago's top goalie this season, lost two one-goal decisions in the Blackhawks' first two games.

The Blackhawks (1-2-1) faced the Predators for the first time since defeating Nashville in six games in the opening round of last season's playoffs.

Kane opened the scoring with a power-play goal 4:48 in, beating Lindback high on the glove side with a quick shot from the right circle.

Sullivan tied it at 1 just under two minutes later when he fired a loose puck from the slot between Crawford's pads.

Toews put Chicago back in front with 3:02 left in the first period, completing a crisp passing play with Tomas Kopecky and Marian Hossa. Kopecky found Toews wide open in the left circle, and Toews' shot rolled in over Lindback's right pad.

Both goalies were sharp in the scoreless second. Among Crawford's best stops was a point-blank pad save on Cal O'Reilly during a Nashville power play.

Wilson tied it a 2 at 4:44 of the third on a shot from the slot that appeared to deflect off Chicago defenseman Jordan Hendry.

Nashville's David Legwand hit the left post with a shot from the slot with 3:55 remaining in the game.

Notes: Chicago D Niklas Hjalmarsson sat out the first game of a two-game suspension for a hit on Buffalo's Jason Pominville on Monday. His spot was filled by Jordan Hendry. Nashville RW Martin Erat didn't play because of back spasms. With Rinne out, the Predators dressed Mark Dekanich as the backup goalie.