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Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 1, Predators 0

4/6/2013

NASHVILLE -- Here's a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 1-0 win over the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday afternoon.

How it happened: The Blackhawks jumped out to an early lead when Bryan Bickell fired home his seventh goal of the season at 5:31 of the first period. From then on, both offenses tightened up and struggled to put away their scoring chances. Daniel Carcillo took a 4-minute minor for high-sticking a 7:58 of the third period, but the Blackhawks killed it off without incident. Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery made 20 saves, and Predators goalie Pekka Rinne made 29 saves.

Player of the game: Emery withstood the Predators’ frantic pressure late in the game and recorded his second shutout of the season, pushing his record to 13-1-0.

What it means: If the Blackhawks get a similar effort from Michal Handzus the rest of the way, they’ll be more than satisfied with their primary trade deadline move. Handzus set up the lone goal and logged 15:00 of ice time in his second game with the team. Pending a few results from later on Saturday, the Blackhawks kept alive their opportunity to become the first team to clinch a playoff berth this season on Saturday. If the Edmonton Oilers lose in regulation and the Phoenix Coyotes lose in overtime or regulation, the Hawks are in.

What’s next: Both teams will head to Chicago for the back end of a home-and-home on Sunday evening, the teams’ third meeting this week. The Blackhawks are now 3-0 against the Predators this season.