Menu

Hockey

Blackhawks edge Predators to secure postseason berth

Brent Seabrook scored the game-winner near the midway mark of the third period, as the Chicago Blackhawks clinched a playoff spot with a 5-4 victory over the Nashville Predators.

Seabrook and Patrick Kane each had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, who secured their fourth straight trip to the postseason. Chicago has 97 points and sits in a tie with idle Detroit for fifth place in the Western Conference.

Patrick Sharp, Dave Bolland and Viktor Stalberg also lit the lamp for the Blackhawks, who have won two in a row. Corey Crawford made 29 saves.

Shea Weber had two goals for the playoff-bound Predators, who sit fourth in the West with 98 points. Martin Erat and Alexander Radulov also scored.

Pekka Rinne stopped 32-of-37 shots in defeat.

The Blues won the Central Division with Nashville's loss.

After Nashville scored four straight goals to tie the game at four, Seabrook put Chicago back in front at the 8:19 mark of the third period. Andrew Shaw controlled the puck behind the net and fed a nice pass in front for Seabrook, who put the disc past Rinne.

Crawford made 10 saves in the final stanza to secure the victory.

Sharp's backhander on the power play gave Chicago a 1-0 lead just 3:25 into the game.

The Blackhawks made it a two-goal game with another power-play goal at the 1:05 mark of the middle stanza. Bolland's snap shot from inside the left circle beat Rinne.

Kane's breakaway goal at the 6:50 mark made it a 3-0 contest. Less than two minutes later, Stalberg banked a shot off Rinne's back and into the net.

But Nashville failed to roll over by scoring the next four goals to tie the game. First, Erat beat Crawford with a shot from the right circle on the power play at the 9:29 mark.

Less than a minute later, Weber's blast from the left point got past Crawford to make it 4-2.

Radulov's nifty move at the 4:38 mark of the third cut the gap to one. Radulov split a pair of defenders before putting a backhander past Crawford.

Weber's blast from the right point at the 7:10 mark made it a 4-4 game.

Game Notes

The Predators took four of six from the Blackhawks this season...Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith sat out the fourth contest of a five-game suspension for an elbow to the head of Vancouver's Daniel Sedin on March 21...Nashville opened a three-game homestand on Saturday...Chicago went 2-for-6 on the power play, while the Predators went 2-for-4 on the man advantage.