Nashville, TN – Ray Emery made Bryan Bickell's first-period goal hold up as the winner with a 20-save performance in Chicago's 1-0 victory over the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.
Emery earned his second shutout of the season and 13th of his career as the NHL-leading Blackhawks took the opener of this home-and-home set with a struggling Predators team.
"Rock solid. He did what he had to do," Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville said about Emery. "I thought he was in control around the net."
Pekka Rinne stopped 29 shots for Nashville, which has dropped two straight and five of its last six overall.
The Predators remain four points out of the West's final playoff spot.
Bickell tapped in a feed from the recently acquired Michal Handzus on a 2-on-1 rush 5:31 into the game. The Blackhawks obtained the veteran Handzus from the San Jose Sharks on Monday.
Emery turned aside five shots in the first period, eight in the middle stanza and seven during the final frame.
Nashville pulled Rinne late in the contest in hopes of producing an equalizer, but was unable to solve Emery.
"We had some great chances at different parts of the game, especially late. I don't know how we didn't bury a couple of those," said Predators forward Mike Fisher.
The Blackhawks host the Predators on Sunday ... Chicago defenseman Johnny Oduya played in his 500th career game ... Nashville was 0-for-3 on the power play.