CHICAGO – Marian Hossa scored a power-play goal just 52 seconds into overtime at the United Center, and the streaking Chicago Blackhawks swept the season series against the Nashville Predators for the first time with a 5-4 victory Friday night.
With Rich Clune in the penalty box serving a 4-minute minor for high sticking, Patrick Kane sent a pass across the ice to Hossa, who one-timed it past Pekka Rinne for his 17th goal of the season.
Kane, Michal Handzus, Duncan Keith and Brandon Saad also scored for the NHL-best Blackhawks, who have won seven in a row.
Slumping Nashville has dropped eight in a row and 11 of 12 overall. Matt Halischuk had two goals, and Kevin Henderson scored in his first NHL game, but the Predators still lost to the Blackhawks for the fourth time this month and the sixth consecutive occasion dating to last season.
Chicago and Nashville were tied at 2 after the first period and exchanged goals again in the second. Kane gave the Blackhawks the lead when he got a pass from Bryan Bickell and slid the puck between Rinne’s legs for his team-best 21st of the season at 9:20, but Halischuk then got his second of the game when he followed his own shot on a breakaway, making it 3-3 with 7:29 left in the period.
Handzus intercepted a pass by Victor Bartley midway through the third and beat Rinne into the top of the goal, giving Chicago the lead once again. It was the second of the season for the veteran center, who is in his second stint with the Blackhawks after he was acquired in a trade with San Jose on April 1.
But the Predators tied it when Bobby Butler rushed in for a rebound score with 3½ minutes remaining, beating Corey Crawford high into the net.
The dramatic finish came after a crazy first period that featured two goals for each team.
Keith’s third of the season and first in 14 games put Chicago in front. The Predators responded with a pair of rebound scores, then Saad tied it at 2 with his 10th of the season at 13:36.
Saad, a contender for the Calder Trophy awarded to the NHL’s top rookie, has seven goals and 15 assists in his last 24 games.
Star of the game:
Marian Hossa, Blackhawks, GW goal 52 seconds into overtime
Up next: Coyotes at Blackhawks, 7:30 p.m. today