Rapid Reaction: Preds 3, Hawks 2
Here's a quick look at the Hawks' loss on Tuesday night.
How it happened: The winning goal broke a 2-2 third-period tie after the Hawks’ Marian Hossa scored the equalizer earlier in the final 20 minutes. The visitors weren’t able to clear the puck and Ryan Ellis shot one from the point, which touched Duncan Keith’s stick before going through the legs of Ray Emery. Emery wasn’t quick enough to close up or use his stick to make the save. The teams exchanged goals late in the first period as Ryan Suter scored after a Jonathan Toews turnover, but 46 seconds later Jamal Mayers found Bryan Bickell for a tally. Pekka Rinne was outstanding, making big saves at point-blank range -- including an acrobatic one on Patrick Sharp. The Predators’ second goal came from the point when Andrew Shaw missed a chance to block it near the blue line before it got by Emery.
What it means: This might be the game that turns things around for the Hawks despite losing for a ninth consecutive contest. They outplayed Nashville for good portions of the night and simply had the better scoring chances but Rinne was outstanding. Having said that Shaw or any forward near the puck has to lay out to block a shot at any time they can. It cost the Hawks another goal, proving every potential hard-working moment counts. The Hawks outshot Nashville 32 to 19 which tells the story of where the puck was most of the night but on the flip side Emery gave up three goals on just those 19 shots. Goalie play came up short in crunch time again. No points in the standings but maybe it’s a start back up the ladder to consistent and good hockey -- at least by the skaters in front of the netminders.
What’s next: The Hawks continue their lengthy road trip with a match-up against the New York Rangers on Thursday.