Blackhawks 3, Predators 1

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CHICAGO (AP)—Tuomo Ruutu’s first NHL goal came at an opportune time.

The rookie scored on the power play to break a 1-all tie and end Chicago’s four-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Sunday.

“We needed the win,” Ruutu said. “I got the puck and I just shot it and it went in.”

Tyler Arnason scored late in the second period for the Blackhawks, who got an insurance goal from Kyle Calder with 6:10 left in regulation.

Dave Legwand scored on the power play for the Predators, who played their first road game this season. They were 3-1-0 in Nashville.

Jocelyn Thibault stopped 21 shots for Chicago. Chris Mason, making his first start for the Predators, had 28 saves.

“It’s just one of those things where I step up, it hits me in the shoulder,” Mason said of Ruutu’s shot. “I just didn’t see it.”

Chicago was 1-for-7 on the power play. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks, who have been short-handed a league-leading 47 times this season, killed six of seven Nashville power-play chances on Sunday.

In a 7-2 loss at Atlanta on Saturday, Chicago was short-handed 15 times and gave up four power-play goals.

“It was a lot different team,” said Thibault, pulled after the Thrashers’ fifth goal on Saturday. “Last night, I was scared with the way we played, but we rebounded real well.”

Legwand was credited with a goal when Marek Zidlicky’s shot from the left circle struck his skate and trickled past Thibault with 3:06 left in the second period.

Arnason replied 23 seconds later from the slot to tie it at 1.

Ruutu gave Chicago a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal 53 seconds into the third. After faking a pass, he fired in a nonchalant wrist shot from the right circle.

“He’s got as good a wrist shot any anybody,” Sutter said. ‘We just need to let Ruuty be Ruuty.”

Calder made it 3-1 with 6:10 left. He stuffed in a loose puck from agoalmouth scrum nine seconds after a Nashville penalty expired.


Mason was claimed from Florida in the NHL Waiver Draft on Oct. 3. Tomas Vokoun had been in goal for Nashville’s first four games. … Zidlicky, a rookie, has a point in each of the Predators’ first five games. He leads Nashville in scoring with two goals and four assists. … Ruutu’s goal also was his first NHL point. … Chicago forward Eric Daze missed his third straight game with a sore back. Daze has twice undergone surgery to repair herniated lumbar discs during his career. … The Blackhawks will be without captain Alex Zhamnov for at least six weeks. Zhamnov underwent surgery to repair a bulginglumbar disc on Thursday.

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Three Stars

  Game Winning Goal
T. Ruutu T. Ruutu
Chicago Blackhawks
Scored at 0:53 of 3rd


Goalie Team Shot Save
Chris Mason Nsh 31 28
Jocelyn Thibault Buf 22 21