Chris Mason makes 30 saves to help Predators beat Blackhawks 5-2

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CHICAGO - Nashville goalie Chris Mason finally got a win, stopping the Chicago Blackhawks.

Mason made 30 saves to end a seven-game personal losing streak and Alexander Radulov and Jason Arnott each had a goal and an assist in the Predators' 5-2 victory over the Blackhawks on Sunday night.

"It feels really good, but it's one game," Mason said. "It seemed like a long stretch when you forget what winning's like a little bit."

He posted victories in Nashville's first two games this season, then went into his slide.

"Mace needed a win and we're glad he got it," said David Legwand, who opened the scoring just 1:23 into the game as Nashville jumped out a 3-1 lead in the first period.

Martin Erat and Jordin Tootoo also scored for Nashville. The Predators have won three straight games, all on the road, and five of six following a six-game losing streak.

"Chris Mason was outstanding tonight," Predators coach Barry Trotz added.

The Predators, who climbed back to .500 with the victory, are 6-0 this season when they score first.

"It felt really good (to get the early lead)," Mason said. "I don't know if we're going to win every game this season when we score first, but we haven't lost one yet."

Robert Lang and Yanic Perreault scored for Chicago.

"We're going to change something up," Blackhawks coach Denis Savard said. "We've got to have urgency every shift, every battle. And if you don't this is what happens in this league."

Nikolai Khabibulin started in goal for the Blackhawks, but allowed three goals on six shots in the first period and was replaced by Patrick Lalime to start the second. He gave up one goal on 12 shots.

"He's (Khabibulin) not the only one to be blamed," Savard said. "Those first three goals, there's not much he could do about it... wish we could get one save with those three chances."

Nashville's final goal, by Arnott, was scored into an empty net.

Legwand and Radulov had goals 1:58 apart on Nashville's first two shots to give the Predators a 2-0 advantage.

Lang cut it to 2-1 at 9:43 of the first with the Blackhawks using a 5-on-3 advantage.

Erat made it 3-1 with 1:39 left in the period on a broken play. J.P. Dumont's centring pass hit the skate of Chicago defenceman Jim Vandermeer and deflected to Erat, who connected from 15 feet out.

Perreault scored his first goal for Chicago at 9:23 of the second to make it 3-2.

Tootoo extended the lead back to two goals picking off a blind pass by Blackhawks defenceman James Wisniewski at the Chicago blue-line. Tootoo's shot from the left circle struck Lalime's arm and trickled in.

Arnott completed the scoring goal with an empty-net power-play goal with 46.2 seconds left.

Notes: Nashville LW Martin Gelinas sat out his sixth game with a bruised shoulder and is day-to-day. ... LW Darcy Hordichuk missed his fifth game with a broken toe and will remain out for at least a week. ... Chicago LW Sergei Samsonov was a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game.



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