Jarnkrok scores in 3rd as Predators top Blackhawks 3-1
CHICAGO (AP) With Pekka Rinne in goal, the Nashville Predators travel quite well.
Rinne made 38 saves and Calle Jarnkrok scored with 1:51 remaining, sending the surging Predators to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.
''We're playing some good hockey, we're competing, we're getting contributions from a lot of guys,'' said Mike Fisher, who had two assists. ''We're definitely playing a better game all around. It's obviously showing.''
Viktor Arvidsson scored in the first and Miikka Salomaki added an empty-net goal as Nashville won for the fourth time in its last five games and extended its point streak to eight in a row. The Predators also extended their franchise-record road point streak to 10 games.
''We're gaining some confidence all the time,'' Rinne said.
It was a lousy ending to a big night for Chicago, which bolstered its shot for a second straight Stanley Cup title by reacquiring forward Andrew Ladd in a trade with Winnipeg announced right before the game.
''It's a great acquisition,'' Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ''There's a lot of familiarity. I'm sure his old teammates are pretty excited in a lot of ways. He brings the intangibles that you look for. He knows his way around our team. I'm sure he's excited to come to Chicago as well.''
Brent Seabrook scored for the Blackhawks, who have lost two in a row and five of seven. Corey Crawford had 29 saves.
The game was tied at 1 before Jarnkrok one-timed a slick pass from Fisher over Crawford's right shoulder for his 12th goal. It was Jarnkrok's first point since he scored two goals in a 5-0 win at Florida at Feb. 13, stopping a five-game drought for the third-year center.
Salomaki tacked on his fourth goal 48 seconds later, prompting some of the fans to begin heading for the exits.
''The third period was our smartest period and our best period, just defensively and methodically taking care of the minutes and eventually we were able to chip one in,'' Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said.
The Predators played without All-Star defenseman Shea Weber for the second straight game. Weber, who has 15 goals and 21 assists, is day to day with a lower-body injury.
But Nashville still managed its second win in five games this season against Chicago. The Predators were eliminated by the Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs last year.
Ladd could be in uniform for Chicago as soon as Sunday against Washington. The Blackhawks sent prospect Marko Dano and two draft picks to Winnipeg for Ladd, forward Matt Fraser and defenseman Jay Harrison.
Ladd previously played for Chicago for two-plus seasons, helping the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2010. He had 17 goals and 17 assists in 59 games with the Jets this season.
''I'm excited to have another chance to go back there and have another chance to win,'' Ladd said on a conference call.
Rinne made 13 saves in the first period, including three great stops on Jonathan Toews alone. He also denied Andrew Shaw on a breakaway in the final minute of the second.
''The save at the end of the second period was probably the biggest, it might have been the turning point of the game,'' Laviolette said. ''That save was huge.''
The game was scoreless before Seabrook skated into an opening in the high slot and drove a slap shot past Rinne on the stick side for his 12th of season at 5:27 of the second. The big defenseman has five goals and two assists in his last nine games.
The Predators responded with Arvidsson's seventh goal at 9:08. Fisher sent the puck off the back boards and Arvidsson was there to stuff it home from the right side.
NOTES: The Blackhawks observed a pregame moment of silence for Eddie Einhorn, a minority owner of the Chicago White Sox who died late Tuesday following complications from a stroke. ... Fraser and Harrison will report to Rockford in the AHL.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap