Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Duncan Keith scored with 3:48 remaining as the Chicago Blackhawks sent the Nashville Predators packing with a 4-3 win in Game 6 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Keith's blast from the left point beat traffic in front and got past Pekka Rinne.
Keith and Jonathan Toews each had one goal and two assists for the Blackhawks. Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane each tallied one goal and one assist.
Scott Darling got the start and gave up three goals on 12 shots before being pulled 11:16 into the first period. Corey Crawford made 13 saves in his first action since Game 2.
"Certainly our guys, when the games are on the line, the stakes are higher, they just love that challenge and like to meet it and rise to it," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
The Blackhawks will either host the Minnesota Wild or visit the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the second round. Minnesota leads that first-round series 3-2.
Rinne made 28 saves, James Neal scored two goals and Matt Cullen scored the third goal for the Predators, who also lost to the Blackhawks in the first round of the 2010 playoffs.
"We wanted to get to the playoffs and find some success," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "It's probably a better question for another day. Coming off, you're talking about a retrospect of the season. The objective was to get to this point, but that wasn't the whole objective, so disappointing right now."
Neal scored twice in the game's first 8:09 to give Nashville a 2-0 lead. He scored the first goal off a backhand shot at 1:10. Neal added a power-play goal when he deflected Cody Franson's shot from the point past Darling.
Sharp put the Blackhawks on the board at 10:37. Duncan Keith's blast from the point hit off the backboards and went right to Sharp.
Cullen scored at 11:16 to give the Predators a 3-1 lead, and Darling was replaced by Crawford.
Chicago scored on the power play at 12:14 when Toews tipped Sharp's shot past Rinne. Kane then tied it with six seconds left in the opening period. Blackhawks center Brad Richards won a faceoff cleanly to Keith, who slid it to Kane for a one-timer from the top of the left faceoff circle.
The Predators went 1-for-3 on the power play, while Chicago went 1-for-2 ... The Blackhawks are 13-3 in games in which they have a chance to eliminate an opponent since the 2009 playoffs.