Blackhawks 3, Predators 1

Bucky Dent, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Power-play hockey continues to be the Chicago Blackhawks' friend.
Right winger Patrick Kane and defenseman Nick Leddy scored extra-man markers Tuesday night, giving Chicago a power-play goal in 10 straight games and a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.
Rookie goaltender Antti Raanta (7-1-1) recorded 27 saves, including 16 in the first period, as the Blackhawks improved their league-best record to 25-7-5. It was the 685th career win for coach Joel Quenneville, moving him out of a fourth-place tie in NHL history with Pat Quinn.
Nashville (16-15-3) saw its three-game winning streak end as it generated few chances after the first period. It managed only 11 shots on goal over the final two periods.
Defenseman Duncan Keith gave Chicago a 1-0 lead at 1:29 of the first period with his third goal, rifling a 37-foot slap shot from the high slot past goalie Carter Hutton.
But center Marcus Kruger committed a faceoff violation right after the goal, and the Predators converted the ensuing power play. Defenseman Shea Weber ripped a slapper from just above the left faceoff circle past Raanta at 3:03 for his eighth goal.
Kane put the Blackhawks ahead for good with his 20th goal, a slick backhander over Hutton's left shoulder at 16:14 of the first. It occurred 38 seconds after Nashville center Colin Wilson took a minor for holding.
With Predators left winger Viktor Stalberg in the penalty box for tripping, Leddy upped the lead to two goals at 11:33, ramming home the rebound of a shot by left winger Brandon Saad for his fourth goal. The score was originally waved off by rookie referee Trevor Hanson, but a replay review reversed the call.
It was the 14th power-play tally for Chicago during its current streak with the extra man. In the last 10 games, it scored 34.1 percent of the time while on the power play.
Hutton (7-4-1), who was named the NHL's third star last week after allowing just four goals in three wins, finished with 24 saves.
NOTES: Nashville C Filip Forsberg, on injured reserve since sustaining an upper-body injury Nov. 15, skated with the team Tuesday morning. Coach Barry Trotz offered no timetable for the rookie's return. ... Chicago LW Bryan Bickell, who missed 15 games with a lower-body injury suffered Nov. 19 at Colorado, was activated from IR and played Tuesday night. ... Predators G Marek Mazanec did not dress due to an illness. He replaced by Magnus Hellberg, who was called up from AHL Milwaukee to back up starter Carter Hutton. ... Entering the night, Chicago had six players with 10 or more goals. No other team had more than three players with double-digit goal totals. Nashville had no one with more than eight goals.

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