Late goals doom Blackhawks in loss to Predators

Late goals doom Blackhawks in loss to Predators
April 12, 2014, 9:30 pm
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NASHVILLE — Marian Hossa was looking for goal No. 30 in game No. 82. He got it early, he made it look fantastic and then he called it a night.

Hossa scored his 30th goal of the season before sitting out the final two periods but the Nashville Predators scored five third-period goals to beat the Chicago Blackhawks, 7-5, on Saturday night.

The Blackhawks, who lost their last two regular-season games, won’t find out who their first-round opponent will be until sometime Sunday. The St. Louis Blues play the Detroit Red Wings in the afternoon while the Colorado Avalanche play at Anaheim at night. Colorado, tied with the Blues in points and holding the tiebreaker over them (more regulation/OT victories), controls its own destiny. If the Blues lose in regulation on Sunday, the Avs win the division and the Blackhawks will head to St. Louis for their first-round matchup.

Matt Carey scored his first NHL goal late in the second period, giving the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead at the time.

Andrew Shaw scored his 20th goal of the season with 1:35 remaining in regulation, tying the game 5-5 at the time. But Patric Hornqvist scored the game-winner for the Predators with 58.2 seconds remaining. Shea Weber added an empty-net goal with 14 seconds remaining.

Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Marcus Kruger and Michal Handzus got the night off for the Blackhawks.

Hossa has now scored 30 or more goals in eight NHL seasons. His wraparound goal, which he banked off Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne’s right skate, put the Blackhawks up 2-1 at the time. The right wing did not come out for the second period, the Blackhawks opting to rest him the remainder of the game.

Ben Smith scored his 14th goal of the season and Brandon Saad recorded two assists.

Matt Cullen and Colin Wilson scored third-period goals for the Predators, with Wilson’s giving Nashville a 4-3 lead 7:05 into the frame. But Jeremy Morin — with a little help from Roman Josi — scored his fifth to tie it 4-4 just 55 seconds later.