Rinne makes 37 saves, Predators beat Blackhawks 3-2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Filip Forsberg has scored on many different goalies, but Tuesday night was the first time he collected a goal against one with the same name on the back of his jersey.
Forsberg opened Nashville’s scoring against Chicago goaltender Anton Forsberg, Pekka Rinne made 37 saves, and the Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2.
“Yeah, it was,” Filip Forsberg said with a laugh when asked if that was his first goal against another Forsberg. The two Swedish players are not related.
Auston Watson and Roman Josi also scored goals for the Predators, who have won 10 of 12.
“It’s a division game, and we’ve kind of created a little bit of a rivalry for sure over the years,” Rinne said. “It means a lot not only in this locker room but in the standings too. It’s a huge win.”
Tommy Wingels and Lance Bouma had the goals for Chicago, which had its two-game winning streak snapped.
Chicago made its first appearance in Nashville since the Predators swept them in last spring’s opening round of the playoffs.
With Nashville clinging to a one-goal lead late in the third, Rinne made his best save of the night when he denied Nick Schmaltz’s backhand from just outside the crease on a shorthanded breakaway. He later denied WIngels with the left pad in the game’s final minute.
Watson also blocked three shots off the stick of former Predator Cody Franson in the game’s final six seconds.
“That was awesome,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “He’s a guy that the puck always seems to find him. ... There’s an art to that, and it was on full display at the end of the game.”
Filip Forsberg scored at 3:16 of the first when Anton Forsberg stopped his initial attempt from the high slot, and the rebound deflected off the right skate of Arvidsson, who was stationed just outside the Chicago crease. The puck drifted to the right, where Nashville’s top goal scorer tapped in his 12th of the season.
“I shot it and it hit him in the stomach, I think, and obviously he tried to spin and it hit his skate and went right to me,” Fillip Forsberg said. “It was fortunate, but at the same time, we were both in the good area where pucks might find us.”
Chicago tied it nearly two minutes later when Alex DeBrincat sent a pass to Wingels skating through the slot, where he redirected the puck over the glove of a diving Rinne.
“For the most part, we played a pretty good road game. That being said, the only thing that matters is the two points,” Wingels said. “While we are happy with some aspects, the biggest thing is we didn’t come away with two points.”
Anton Forsberg made 28 saves.
Watson made it 2-1 at 3:48 of the second when Matt Irwin’s shot from the left point was off the mark but deflected off Watson’s body and into the Chicago net. Officials upheld the goal after a challenge by the Blackhawks, who thought Watson had interfered with Anton Forsberg.
“It’s close. I looked at it,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “It could have gone either way, but it was one of those decisions that it could have gone our way too.”
Josi scored a power-play goal at 2:32 of the third with a slap shot from above the left faceoff circle.
Nashville entered Tuesday with the league’s best home power play conversion rate at 41.5%. The Predators were 1-4 in the game with the man advantage.
Bouma cut the lead to 3-2 midway through the third from the lower part of the right faceoff circle.
NOTES: Nashville has scored at least one power-play goal in each of its 11 home games. ... The Predators are 9-1-1 at home. ... Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane failed to record a point in the game, ending his point-scoring streak at seven games. ... Chicago is 2-5-0 against fellow Central Division teams. ... Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker attended the game.
Blackhawks: Host Dallas on Thursday.
Predators: Host Vancouver on Thursday.
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