York's late third-period goal help Preds earn tie

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Jason York and the Nashville Predators
made sure they had something to show for a strong start against the
Chicago Blackhawks.

York scored with 3:38 left in the third period to give the
Predators a 3-3 tie with Chicago on Saturday night.

"We were determined in the third period that we were coming
back and getting a point or the win,'' Nashville coach Barry Trotz
said. "Those were the only things the guys were focused on.

"Chicago was hanging on. They were holding, clutching and
grabbing and doing all the illegal things.''

York beat goalie Jocelyn Thibault from the point.

"I wanted to get the shot high, shoot it quick and get it on
net,'' York said. "After the second period we decided we weren't
losing this one. Everybody was bearing down. For the last month we
have been showing a lot more character in making comebacks.''

The Predators opened the scoring on Scott Hartnell's goal off a
rebound 39 seconds into the first period, and Andreas Johansson
made it 2-0 at 8:41. Johansson battled Chicago's Eric Daze down the
left side of the slot, and got off a shot that bounced off defender
Steve Poapst's skate and past Thibault.

Andrei Nikolishin cut the margin to a goal with 7:53 left in the
first period, and Kyle Calder and Sergei Berezin scored in a 2:36
span midway through the second to give Chicago a 3-2 lead.

"They started the game 2-0 and we battled back,'' Thibault
said. "Then it was 3-2 and I thought we had them. We knew they
were going to be coming hard in the third period, but we let them
off the hook with a lucky goal.''

Chicago coach Brian Sutter tried to tell his team what to expect
in the third period.

"We knew Nashville was going to skate,'' Sutter said. "People
don't believe it, but they've got a good skating team. We knew what
was going to happen and it happened.''

The Blackhawks outshot the Predators 7-3 in the overtime, but
couldn't beat Tomas Vokoun.

"Overtime is always tough,'' Vokoun said. "With four-on-four
hockey there are always chances. We've got to go for the wins
because we need the points.''

Game notes
Nashville's Scott Walker left the game in the first period
because of a sore neck. ... Vokoun tied his own club record for
consecutive starts, set from Oct. 31 through Nov. 30, 2000, with
his 15th. ... The Blackhawks stretched their unbeaten string when
they lead after two periods to 54 games (46-0-8). ... Chicago's
Nathan Dempsey has a goal and five assists in his last four games.