There are only 472 miles on the quickest trip between the United Center in Chicago, Illinois and the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. But it has been shown previously and is expected to be seen again that the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators simply do not like each other.
That dislike was made evident as the Predators would get the scoring going quite quickly in the first period when Colin Wilson would score the opening goal of the series to take a 1-0 advantage. It was unassisted. Then with just under 3 minutes left in the opening period they decided to pile on Corey Crawford. It started with a Viktor Stalburg goal assisted by Calle Jarnkrok and Matt Cullen. Then they got another one with just 30 seconds left in the period as Colin Wilson got his second goal of the series, this time on a Power Play when Seth Jones and Ryan Ellis were able to get him the puck and are credited with the assist. The Predators were on the power play because Kimmo Timonen was called for holding on Craig Smith. The Blackhawks would pull goalie Corey Crawford after such a rough end to the period and decided to put in Scott Darling instead.
This writer wishes he could have been in that locker room after the opening period to hear exactly what Blackhawks Manager Joel Quenneville said, because the Hawks owned and controlled the second period just like the Predators did in the first. Niklas Hjalmarsson got the first goal of the series for the Blackhawks just over a minute into the second period and Teuvo Teravainen and Jonathan Toews were credited with assists. Then the Blackhawks decided to get some power play action going their way as well. Patrick Sharp got the first power play goal after a penalty on Anton Volchenkov as he was called for hooking on Kris Versteeg. Assisting Sharp on the goal were Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa. Turns out penalties on Versteeg are quite helpful in this series as Mattias Ekholm got a 2 minute minor for cross checking him a few minutes later which led to another power play goal for the Blackhawks when Toews tied it up at 3 a piece and was assisted by Kane and Duncan Keith.
The Predators would go on the aggressive side from there on, out shooting the Blackhawks 15-10 in the third period as the game was heading to overtime. And between the two overtime periods the Predators out shot the Blackhawks 23-15. But with just about 12 minutes left in the second overtime, Keith was able to score a goal of his own. He was assisted by Toews and Hossa.
Pekka Rinne gets the loss in this game but only allowed 4 goals on 42 shots attempted.
Here are the VAVEL USA Stars of the game:
1 Star--Scott Darling, Blackhawks Goaltender, 42 shots saved in 67 minutes of game time and no goals allowed.
2 Star--Colin Wilson, Predators Center, 2 goals scored
3 Star--Duncan Keith, 1 Goal, 1 Assist, Scored the game winner and assisted on the game tying goal. Can't do much more than that.