CHICAGO - APRIL 24: (L-R) Jonathan Toews #19, Niklas Hjalmarsson #4 and Bryan Bickell #29 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate Hjalmarsson's 1st period goal as David Legwand #11 of the Nashville Predators skates back to the bench in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 24, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Kane Ties It, Hossa Wins It: Hawks Beat Preds, 5-4 In OT, Take 3-2 Series Lead

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Nashville Reaction: Powerless Power Play Costs Predators In Chicago

The story of the series was magnified in game five, according to On The Forecheck.  Nashville's inability to cash in on their numerous power player chances cost them the game:

The Nashville Predators had no business competing in Game Five in Chicago, none. After two periods they were outshot 24-8, and headed into the 3rd period down 3-2. They took the lead midway through the 3rd, and then their power play failed them horribly.

Blackhawks 5, Predators 4: Kane Sends Game To OT With 13.6 Left; Hossa Wins It

For more, check out our Blackhawks blog, Second City Hockey, and our Predators blog, On The Forecheck.

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Marian Hossa scored 4:06 into overtime to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-4 win over Nashville in Game 5 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.

The teams had alternated wins since Nashville took the opener in Chicago, and the Predators were eyeing to take a 3-2 lead in the series. They were leading by a goal late in regulation and headed to the power play after Hossa received a major penalty for shoving Nashville defenseman Dan Hamhuis into the boards behind the Nashville net with 1:03 to play in the third period. Hamhuis was injured on the play.

Chicago pulled rookie goaltender Antti Niemi and Patrick Kane deposited the rebound of a Jonathan Toews shot to force overtime with 13.6 seconds remaining.

Nashville remained on the power play at the outset of overtime, but couldn't convert. Hossa exited the box and joined the play in the Predators' zone. Chicago defenseman Brent Sopel unloaded a shot from the point that deflected off a Nashville player. The puck went right to Hossa at the side of the net and he buried it before Pekka Rinne could get across.

The Predators are now 0-for-21 on the power play in the series.

Andrew Ladd, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Tomas Kopecky also scored for the Blackhawks, who can close out the series Monday in the Music City.

Niemi finished with 17 saves.

Martin Erat tallied twice in the third period for the Predators, with his second goal breaking a 3-3 tie with 8:21 left in regulation.

David Legwand and Joel Ward both registered a goal and an assist for Nashville, which got 27 saves from Rinne.

Patric Hornqvist, who led Nashville with 30 goals during the regular season, missed his fourth straight game due to an upper-body injury that he aggravated in the opener.

Down 3-2, Erat one-timed a J.P. Dumont pass at 1:34 of the third. He then gave the visitors the lead at 11:39. Denis Grebeshkov held the puck at the left point and dished to Erat in the right circle. Erat took the feed off his skate and snapped a shot along the ice behind Niemi.

The Predators grabbed a 1-0 lead 6:23 into the contest on a wrister by Legwand.

Ladd pulled Chicago into a 1-1 tie midway through the first period. Rinne was down after a slap shot by Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook. Ladd crashed the crease and put home the rebound past the prone netminder at 9:57.

The Blackhawks seized the lead on Hjalmarsson's first career playoff goal, a rocket from the point that made its way through traffic and beat Rinne on the short side with 5:07 left in the first.

Chicago got caught for too many men at 14:14 of the middle stanza and killed the power play. Kopecky served the penalty and raced out of the box to gather a cleared puck. He eluded the poke check of Rinne, switched to the backhand and slipped the puck into the open net at 16:24.

Moments later, Nashville's Jerred Smithson went off the ice for hooking, but the Predators capitalized on a turnover by Kane to net a short-handed goal and trim their deficit to 3-2. Ward joined Legwand on an odd-man break. Legwand carried the puck down the left side and dished across to Ward, who buried a shot behind a sliding Niemi at 17:31.

Toews, Seabrook and Grebeshkov each had two assists...Nashville has not won a playoff series in its 12-year history, losing in the first round in all four of its previous trips to the postseason.


Hjalmarsson's Blast Put Chicago Up, 2-1, In Game 5

Pekka Rinne probably should've had this one, but bodies in front likely did him in. Several players were positioned in front of the Nashville goaltender, limiting his view of the puck. It came back to the point, where defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson threw it on net. Rinne never saw it, and Chicago has the 2-1 lead.

Meanwhile, as play begins again, the puck is lost in Antti Niemi's pads. The officials cannot seem to find it anywhere and it's not in the net. Eventually, it found it's way out of Niemi's equipment.


Andrew Ladd Picks Up The Garbage, Ties Game 5

A few short minutes after Nashville took a 1-0 lead, the Blackhawks got the goal right back. The Predators stumbled around a bit in their defensive end, allowing Chicago to pick up a rebound in front of the net.

The puck came off of Pekka Rinne and it was found by Andrew Ladd, who quickly deposited it into the back of the net to tie Game 5 at 1-1. Chicago is outshooting Nashville 6-3 with 7 minutes remaining in the first period.


Ward Screens, Legwand Scores: Nashville Up 1-0 In Game 5

Antti Niemi never had a chance. Joel Ward set up a perfect screen in front of the Chicago goaltending, giving David Legwand a perfect look at a shot in the top right corner of the net. Legwand placed it perfectly, giving the Predators a 1-0 lead just seven minutes into the first period at United Center.

Nashville continues to pressure after the goal, hitting the post on the first shot taken since.


Denis Grebeshkov In Lineup For Nashville In Game 5

According to Dirk Hoag at SBN's Predators blog, On the Forecheck, defensemen Denis Grebeshkov is in the lineup today for Nashville. Cody Franson, who has seen his ice time limited in recent games, will sit.

Just a few days ago, Dirk asked the question: should Grebeshkov play? He's been out for some time with a testicle injury.

As much as I want to see the power play come alive, it doesn't seem wise to throw a player at a critical position into the fray and expect positive results, especially with the stakes so high. Perhaps if Nashville advances it becomes more pertinent, but if I'm Barry Trotz, I dance with who brought me. 

The general mood in the game thread over at OtF is that they're happy Grebeshkov is back in the lineup. We'll see how it goes as the puck is set to drop at United Center.


Join The Discussion With Our Predators And Blackhawks Blogs

Our Nashville Predators blog, On the Forecheck, and our Chicago Blackhawks blog, Second City Hockey, are both running open discussion threads for today's Game 5 between the two clubs. Click the respective logo below to join the conversation.

Forecheck2_medium Secondcity-xl_medium

Follow along here as well as we update the game live.


3:00 P.M: Predators, Blackhawks Will Break Series Tie Saturday In Chicago

For more, visit our Predators blog, On the Forecheck, and our Hawks blog, Second City Hockey.

Chicago (Sports Network) - The Chicago Blackhawks will try to notch consecutive victories for the first time in this year's postseason when they host the Nashville Predators today in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals at United Center.

This best-of-seven series is tied at two games apiece, with the teams alternating victories since Nashville opened the set with a victory in Chicago. Game 6 is scheduled for Monday evening in Nashville, while, if necessary, the seventh and decisive game will be held Wednesday in the Windy City.

The Blackhawks have posted both of their wins in this series via shutout, including Thursday's 3-0 triumph in the Music City. Patrick Sharp scored twice and rookie Antti Niemi used 33 saves to record his second shutout of the series in Game 4 at Bridgestone Arena.

Jonathan Toews also scored for the second-seeded Blackhawks, who entered the postseason as Stanley Cup favorites following their first division title since 1993.

"Tonight we kept plays alive and kept working just because we had support, and we didn't get lazy out there," Toews said. "We have to keep working that way."

Also, Chicago welcomed back defenseman Brian Campbell, who had been out of action since mid-March after he suffered fractures to his clavicle and ribs due to a hit by Washington's Alex Ovechkin. Campbell logged just over 14 minutes of ice time in Game 4 -- nearly 10 minutes less than the 23 minutes, 12 seconds he averaged in 68 games during the regular season.

Pekka Rinne allowed three goals on 30 shots for Nashville, which is still searching for the first playoff series win in franchise history. The Predators have lost in the opening round in all four of their trips to the postseason and have never won more than two games in any single series.

"They came out with a lot of urgency and a lot of desperation," Predators coach Barry Trotz said of the Blackhawks. "Every time we had a couple good chances, they came down and kept scoring."

Patric Hornqvist, the leading goal scorer for Nashville during the regular season, missed his third straight game due to an upper body injury that he aggravated in the series opener. He is listed as questionable for today's contest.

If Hornqvist returns he could boost a struggling Nashville power play unit that has failed to score on 17 chances with the man advantage in this series.

The Blackhawks were 29-8-4 as the host this year, while Nashville was 23-15-3 as the visiting team during the regular season.

Chicago won the season series with the division rival Predators, 4-2. The Blackhawks won twice at home in the series and twice in Nashville. This is the first-ever meeting between the clubs in the playoffs.

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