Rinne, Preds blank Blackhawks
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Pekka Rinne made 29 saves for his first shutout of the season in the Nashville Predators' 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.
Mike Fisher and Gabriel Bourque scored for the Predators, who went 2-2-0 on a four-game road trip.
Corey Crawford stopped 15-of-17 shots for the Blackhawks, who now sit six points behind St. Louis for first place in the Central Division. The Blues beat the Penguins earlier Sunday.
The Predators took a 1-0 lead at 18:38 of the first period when Fisher tipped in Ryan Ellis' slap pass.
Rinne made 11 saves over the first 20 minutes to preserve the one-goal margin.
"He's been playing well for us lately," Ellis said of Rinne. "He was outstanding. Great job for him to get the shutout."
Bourque gave Nashville a 2-0 edge at 17:35 of the middle stanza. He took a pass from Calle Jarnkrok and headed up ice before scoring from the left circle.
Rinne made nine saves in each of the final two frames to preserve the victory.
"They do a good job of keeping you on the outside and preventing you from getting to the net," Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville said of the Predators.
The Predators have taken three of four against the Blackhawks this season ... Rinne recorded his 31st career shutout ... Chicago forward Brandon Saad returned on Sunday after missing three games with an upper-body injury. Bryan Bickell and Michal Rozsival remained out for the Blackhawks ... Nashville forwards Patric Hornqvist (personal), Paul Gaustad (upper body) and Patrick Eaves (lower body) missed the game ... Predators defenseman Seth Jones left the game with an upper-body injury ... The Blackhawks went 0-for-4 on the power play.
03/23 23:19:30 ET