The Predators returned back to the United Center after the controversial goal scored by the Blackhawks to give Chicago the win. This outcome was different than the first meeting of the season, with Nashville skating to a 2-1 victory. Samuel Girard also returned to the lineup as he was paired with Roman Josi.Cody McLeod, Matt Irwin, and Anthony Bitetto were healthy scratches for this game.
Nashville began the first period off slow with very few shots. Pekka Rinne however, was lights out with the amount of chances the Blackhawks developed. 6:32 into the period, Tommy Wingels held Samuel Girard to take a penalty. The Predators were unable to convert, but Brandon Saad had a chance on a shorthanded breakaway opportunity. With 1:20 remaining in the first period, Richard Panik took a slashing penalty against Colton Sissons. On the Predators power play, Nick Schmaltz was denied by Pekka Rinne, but ArtemAnisimov was able to chip the puck in to score shorthanded to give the Hawks the 1-0 lead late in the first.
To begin the second period, Calle Jarnkrok collected a turnover in the slot, then wired a wrister past Corey Crawford to even the game at 1-1. Jan Rutta got called for tripping against Frederick Gaudreau giving the Predators another chance to go back on the power play. With 28 seconds remaining on the power play, Craig Smith was able to bury a wrister from the circle with a pass from P.K Subban giving the Predators the 2-1 lead.
With 14:48 remaining in regulation, Patrick Kane came down the ice and barreled into Pekka Rinne, with a little help from Yannick Weber, to get a two-minute interference penalty to put the Preds back on the power play. Nashville however, was unable to convert to make it 3-1 in their favor. Towards the end of the third period, the Blackhawks came full force. They were getting chance after chance, but luckily Pekka Rinne was able to make some incredible saves to give the Predators the 2-1 victory in the United Center.
Pekka Rinne made 43 saves on the night and only allowed one goal. Pekka Rinne has also only allowed five regulation goals in the last six meetings between these two teams, including the playoffs. Calle Jarnkrok got his first goal of the year. Craig Smith was able to get his 100th career goal tonight, as well. The Predators will return back to Smashville on Saturday to finish their back-to-back against the New York Islanders at 7:00.