Series (Game 1 of 5)

Chicago leads 3-1

Game 1: Sunday, November 17th
Game 2: Saturday, January 4th
Game 3: Sunday, January 12th
Game 4: Saturday, March 1st
Game 5: Thursday, March 27th

Predators 2

(2-9-4, 11 pts)

Blackhawks 4

(9-5-0, 21 pts)

8:00 PM ET, November 17, 2002

United Center, Chicago, Illinois

1 2 3 T
NSH 0 1 12
CHI 2 1 14

S. Sullivan (Blackhawks - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

A. Zhamnov (Blackhawks - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

S. Poapst (Blackhawks - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Blackhawks extend unbeaten streak to six games

CHICAGO (AP) -- After regularly misfiring earlier this season, Steve Sullivan is starting to click.

Steve Sullivan

Sullivan scored two goals on Sunday night to help the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 4-2 and extend their unbeaten streak to six games.

In his last six games, Sullivan has five goals and two assists. In his first 11 games, he had two goals and four assists.

"I was getting the chances, but they just weren't going in,'' Sullivan said. "You've just got to stick with it and not get frustrated, but get mad and bear down.''

Sullivan played right wing on a line with Alex Zhamnov at center and Eric Daze on left wing. Zhamnov had a goal and two assists.

"Alex can see the ice as well as anyone,'' Sullivan said. "With Alex you just have to get in the open and he'll see you. I just have to time my speed so I can be at full speed when I get the puck.''

Besides scoring on a wraparound Sunday, Sullivan converted a shorthanded breakaway that was set up by Zhamnov's long pass.

Boris Mironov also scored for Chicago, 4-0-2 during its streak. Jocelyn Thibault made 28 saves.

Although Zhamnov leads the Blackhawks with 17 points. His goal was only his second this season and first in 15 games.

Nashville rookie Vernon Fiddler had his first NHL goal and assist. Clarke Wilm also had a goal and an assist for the Predators, who are winless in four games (0-3-1) and have scored only five goals in that span.

"It's always nice to get your first couple of points,'' Fiddler said. "It would have been a lot better if it would have gotten us the point, but I think if we keep our heads up and keep working, the breaks will come our way.''

Tomas Vokoun started in goal for Nashville, stopping three of 12 shots. Mike Dunham replaced him at 10:10 of the second and blocked six of seven.

Sullivan opened the scoring 5:26 into the first period. He skated from behind the net and wrapped the puck just inside the left post.

Mironov's fluke power-play goal at 8:03 gave Chicago a 2-0 lead.

His dump-in from center ice took an odd bounce off the right side glass and caromed into an empty net. Vokoun had skated behind the net to play the puck and couldn't recover in time.

Fiddler cut it to 2-1 at 7:31 of the second by backhanding in a loose rebound from the edge of the crease as he tumbled to the ice.

Zhamnov made it 3-1 just 58 seconds later. His 50-foot shot from the top of the slot slipped between Vokoun's pads.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz replaced Vokoun with Dunham at 10:10 of the period.

Sullivan extended Chicago's lead to 4-1 with 8:55 left in the third with his shorthanded breakaway goal.

Wilm jammed in a loose puck from the crease 16 seconds later to cut it to 4-2.

Game notes

Nashville D Kimmo Timonen missed the game because of a bruised ankle. He's day-to-day. ... The Predators recalled C Greg Classen and RW Darren Haydar from Milwaukee of the AHL. Haydar made his NHL debut. ... Zhamnov has a goal and six assists in six games. ... Sullivan has three goals and an assist in three games. ... The Blackhawks begin a seven-game road trip Tuesday at Edmonton. They don't play at home again until Dec. 4.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press