Controversy Plays a Hand in Predators’ OT Loss to Hawks

Brandon Saad scored in overtime as the Nashville Predators fell 2-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on Saturday night. The result ends Nashville’s two-game win streak and leaves them with one point in three road games this season.

The Predators had a 1-0 advantage courtesy of a Filip Forsberg tally in the second period, but Patrick Sharp tied the game with less than six minutes to play in regulation before Saad ended it.

Despite the result, Nashville gained a point in what may have been their most complete effort of the young season against an opponent and in a building that hasn’t been kind to them in recent regular-season outings.

“It hurts a little not getting the second point of the two,” Predators forward Colton Sissons said. “We did like our game. For a majority of the game, I thought it was our best game of the season. It stinks leaving a point out there, but we can definitely build off of that game.”

Sharp’s goal came with controversy as Preds defenseman Matt Irwin got tied up with Chicago’s Ryan Hartman in front of the net. Irwin lost his stick in the exchange and was forced to attempt to defend Sharp without it.

“[We were] just playing an unbelievable game to that point, and to have it taken away from us like that is ridiculous,” Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said.

After a first period that saw Nashville register 18 shots on goal, Forsberg deftly flipped the puck to his backhand and threw it behind Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford for a 1-0 Nashville lead in the final two minutes of the second. It was Forsberg’s fifth goal of the young season, four of them coming with the man advantage.

Goaltender Pekka Rinne stopped 33 Chicago shots on the night; Corey Crawford turned aside 37 of Nashville’s 38 shots.

With five out of a possible six points in their last three outings, the Predators have recovered nicely from an early 0-2 start to the season – and with efforts like the one in Chicago on a consistent basis, there will be points gained more often than not.

“Certainly trending in the right direction,” Sissons said. “A lot of work to do, but we’re definitely feeling better about ourselves and we can continue build off the way we did tonight.”


Despite taking part in the Preds optional morning skate, Captain Roman Josi (lower-body injury; day-to-day) missed his third consecutive game. Yannick Weber (upper-body; day-to-day) also did not play.

Blueliner Anthony Bitetto logged his second game of the season in the absence of Josi and Weber.

Next up for Nashville is a quick stop in Smashville to host Colin Wilson and the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.