The Chicago Blackhawks looked to get back on track on Saturday afternoon against the Nashville Predators. They had dropped their last two contests, and were not able to get over the three-goal hump in either game. Arvid Soderblom was back in net on Saturday, while Taylor Hall made his return to the lineup after missing the previous two games due to injury. Former Blackhawks goaltender Kevin Lankinen was in net for the Predators, who were looking to snap a losing streak of their own.
The Blackhawks got the first power play of the game 30 seconds in, but were not able to convert on the opportunity. They had a few more good chances in the opening minutes of the game, but were unable to get anything past Lankinen to go up on the scoresheet. The Predators ended up striking first, just over 12 minutes into the game. Kevin Korchinski failed to get the puck out of the defensive zone, with Colton Sissons stealing the puck along the boards. He got it to Yakov Trenin, who put his first goal of the season past Soderblom to make it 1–0 Predators. The Blackhawks game up two late-period power plays to the Predators, who would eventually make them pay. Gustav Nyquist cleaned up a rebound off of a Filip Forsberg shot to make it 2–0 Predators, which is how the first period would end.
The second period took a lot longer to get going. Both teams traded chances, but they were not able to put any in the net until Philipp Kurashev put in a rebound off of a Connor Bedard shot, getting the Blackhawks on the board and trimming the margin to 2–1.
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) November 18, 2023
The Predators would answer before the period was out, though. Philip Tomasino put a shot on net that was not controlled by Soderblom, allowing Cole Smith to sneak the puck around his pad, 3–1 Predators.
In the third, both teams traded chances until Tyler Johnson put a shot off of Roman Josi and past Lankinen, tightening the score to 3–2 Predators. Unfortunately, that was all that they were able to muster, as Cole Smith struck again with an empty-netter to put this one away for good, a 4–2 Predators win.
The Blackhawks got some good shots on goal in this game, but were unable to put any of their really good chances past Lankinen. With one line really showing up, especially defensively, that does not bode well for you having a game that is winnable for your side. As far as defensive play goes, Seth Jones and Alex Vlasic played solidly as a pairing, which is refreshing to see, especially for Jones, who has looked like he wants to play this season.
The Blackhawks’ next game is on Sunday at home against the Buffalo Sabres. That game will be at 6 p.m. CST on NBC Sports Chicago.