The game started with a great Pat Foley celebration for 30 years of broadcasting Chicago Blackhawks hockey, and it didn’t take very long for him to crank up his trademark He Scores!!!
Brandon Saad drew the first penalty of the game, and the Hawks power play took the ice which has been a tough 2 minutes to watch especially lately since they haven’t had a power play goal since March 29th. The dry patch finally ended when Jonathan Toews collected another takeaway and got it to Viktor Stalberg who made a great feed to Duncan Keith who buried it past Pekka Rinne. With the Hawks scoring a power play goal it seemed like the Hawks decided to pack it in for the rest of the period. First, after knocking down the puck in front of Corey Crawford Matt Halischuk knocked the puck past Crawford to tie up the game. The Predators didn’t seem like a team that struggles to score goals when the Predators after an endless amount of whacks knocked in their second goal of the game and a 2-1 lead. The Hawks offense kicked it up a notch and Toews fed it to Brandon Saad who tried to pass it Marian Hossa but it was knocked back to him then after collecting the puck put it behind Rinne for his 10th goal of the season and a 2-2 game. Brent Seabrook went to the box for an iffy interference penalty at the end of the 1st period, but the very reliable Hawks penalty kill easily dismissed any Predator chances which led to the first intermission with the game tied 2-2.
The second period began with the Hawks just missing on great chances in front of Rinne with both Saad and Toews missing their shot at the lead. Andrew Shaw with the net wide open almost fanned on a one-timer and it gave Rinne enough time to keep the puck out of the net. To pour salt into the wound seconds later Shaw would take a puck to the face but after leaving the bench would return before the end of the period. Bryan Bickell would take an errant Predators pass which started a 2 on 1 and Bickell fed Patrick Kane who slipped it in past Rinne for his 21st goal of the season and a 3-2 lead. Michal Handzus would be the next Hawks player to leave the bench with an apparent shoulder injury which is the last thing the Hawks needed playing basically a meaningless game before the playoffs begin. The Predators seemingly lived in the crease when they were able to get it into the Hawks end of the ice. Halischuk on a rush got a shot on Crawford, but Crawford who struggled with leaving rebounds in the first two periods final hurt himself when Halischuk knocked in his own rebound for the tying goal. The Hawks top line had more scoring chances with no scores to end the 2nd period 3-3 with the Hawks leading shots on goal 27-17, and on a good note Handzus made it back to the ice before the end of period.
The Hawks had control of most of the third period without being able to break through on the scoreboard until a terrible turnover in the Predators own end led to a Handzus steal and goal. The Hawks were able to collect a power play goal on this night, but there one other bug-a-boo giving up 3rd period leads didn’t disappear when Bobby Butler was able to knock it a rebound on a very good shot to tie the game once more at 4-4. The Predators did get a late period power play but the Hawks extended their penalty kill streak to 30 for 31 which kept the game tied at 4. In the final minute of the contest Rich Clune was called for a double minor high-stick, this penalty cost the Predators when the game did get to overtime when Marian Hossa buried the game winner from the nice feed from Kane to end overtime.
The Hossa goal was a great way to end Pat Foley night with a Hawks Win!! Hawks Win!! Hawks Win!! This will be the last time we see the Predators until next fall at the earliest.
The Blackhawks host the Phoenix Coyotes tomorrow night the puck drops at 7:30 Central.
For more Blackhawks conversation follow us on Twitter @Blackhawk_Up or Friend us on Facebook at Blackhawk Up.