Predators beat Blackhawks 7-5, take series 4-1

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 12, 2014 at 11:03 pm •  Published: April 12, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks certainly draw plenty of their own fans with them when playing in Nashville.

Simply playing the defending Stanley Cup champs definitely brings out the best in the Predators this season.

Patric Hornqvist scored the go-ahead goal with 58.2 seconds left and Shea Weber added an empty-netter as the Nashville Predators rallied with five goals in the third period to beat the Blackhawks 7-5 Saturday night in their home finale.

The teams combined to score seven goals in a wild and furious final period. Chicago was up 3-2 going into the third, and Nashville finally put the Blackhawks away with the two goals inside the final minute. Nashville, which also scored seven goals while beating Chicago earlier this season, took the season series 4-1 before an arena about half full of Blackhawks fans.

"I felt that gave us some motivation to let them come and then go home sad," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said of the latest win. "That was my goal."

Hornqvist also had an assist. Craig Smith had a goal and an assist. Paul Gaustad, Ryan Ellis, Matt Cullen and Colin Wilson also scored a goal apiece as 12 of 18 Nashville skaters got at least a point.

Ben Smith, Marian Hossa, Matt Carey, Jeremy Morin and Andrew Shaw each scored a goal for Chicago, which finished the season third in the Central Division. The Blackhawks now must wait to see if they are playing either Colorado or St. Louis when the playoffs start. Both teams play Sunday.

"It's going to be interesting," Hossa said. "It'll come down to the last game to decide who we're going to play."

The Predators were eliminated from the postseason for a second straight year with a shootout loss Tuesday night at Dallas, but they now are 8-1-2 over their last 11 games. They certainly didn't quit when they had the chance down 2-0 in the first period or trailing going into the third.

"It's obviously a good sign," Weber said. "There's no quit in this locker room. A lot of character. We knew guys weren't going to quit. It's tough to be out of the postseason, but there is still a lot to play for."

Nashville scored the first two goals of the third as Cullen scored off a rebound at 4:03 followed by Wilson scoring off a rebound of Weber's shot at 7:05. That gave Nashville its first lead of the night at 4-3.