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Predators edge Blackhawks in high-scoring affair
Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Patric Hornqvist scored the go-ahead goal with 58.2 seconds remaining in the third period, as the Nashville Predators won a wild one against the Chicago Blackhawks, 7-5, at Bridgestone Arena.
Paul Gaustad had a goal and two assists, while Hornqvist, Shea Weber, Matt Cullen and Craig Smith all notched one of each for Nashville, which is 5-0-1 in its last six games and concludes the regular season Sunday at Minnesota.
The Blackhawks (46-21-15) played their regular-season finale and will open the playoffs on the road against either Colorado or St. Louis.
"Definitely we're going to look at the score of the other games," said Chicago forward Marian Hossa.
Nashville, which was down 2-0, scored five times in the third period and grabbed its second lead in the stanza at 5-4 on Gaustad's one-timer from the slot with 2:55 remaining.
The tally set off a frantic finish.
The Blackhawks tied it 1:20 later with goalie Antti Raanta pulled for an extra skater. Andrew Shaw fired a shot from behind the right circle that beat Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne with 1:35 left.
Hornqvist then tipped in Cullen's pass to put Nashville back on top, and Weber added an empty-netter with 14 seconds to play.
"We were just trying to win a game and finish out the season on a good note," Weber said.
Chicago jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals from Ben Smith and Hossa, who went coast-to-coast before scoring on a wraparound for his 30th goal of the season.
Craig Smith scored 14 seconds after Hossa lit the lamp, and the Predators tied it on Ryan Ellis' goal at 6:32 of the second period. The Blackhawks countered almost seven minutes later on Matt Carey's first NHL goal.
Cullen and Colin Wilson each buried rebounds 3:02 apart to give Nashville a 4-3 lead in the third. The lead lasted only 55 seconds as Predators defenseman Roman Josi inadvertently pushed a puck that was sitting on the goal line into his own net. Jeremy Morin was credited with the goal that knotted the score at the eight-minute mark.
Hossa reached the 30-goal mark for the eighth time in his career ... Cullen's goal was his 600th career point ... Nashville forward Mike Fisher had three assists ... Rinne allowed five goals on 25 shots, while Raanta was beaten six times on 32 shots ... The Predators finished 4-1-0 against Chicago this season.
04/13 00:49:34 ET
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