- Jesse Rogers, ESPN Staff Writer
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How it happened: The Hawks didn’t have the legs or the work ethic from the outset but managed to score first when Marian Hossa exploded into the offensive zone and around Shea Weber for his 19th of the year. The Predators tied it a couple minutes later when Colin Smith tallied on the power play. Then Corey Crawford gave up a fluky goal from center ice in the second period as he couldn’t handle the bounce in front of him and the Predators never looked back. They added two more in the second, ending Crawford’s night. Down 4-1, the Hawks had some brief life when Hossa tallied again to open the third period but Nashville got that goal right back and cruised to the win.
What it means: It’s clear the Predators were ready for their first home contest against the Hawks this year while Chicago, having played the night before and arriving in the early morning hours, just didn’t have much to their game. Crawford’s center ice goal changed the momentum for good as the Hawks were fortunate to be in it after a season low two shots in the opening 20 minutes. Crawford looked shaky before and after that goal but the defense in front of him did him no favors. The Hawks played exactly how you might expect after playing and flying the night before but that formula doesn’t always have to hold. It did on Saturday, dropping their record to 29-14-6.
Toews injury: Toews left the game with 7:08 remaining in the second period but it wasn’t obvious how he was hurt. On Friday he took a slash to his left arm but Saturday’s final shift didn’t look to aggravate that ailment or create a new one. He was pushed into a defenseman at the end of his shift but didn’t look to suffer an injury on the play.
What’s next: The Hawks will have an off-day on Sunday before resuming practice Monday in advance of their final game before the All-Star break against these same Predators on Tuesday.