Predators score late third-period goal to down Blackhawks


Predators score late third-period goal to down Blackhawks

Jonathan Toews was asked if he thought he had a goal against Pekka Rinne.

“Which one?” asked the Blackhawks captain, who had several prime opportunities against Rinne. “I had a couple great chances… it just didn’t go in, especially early on.”

No, past Brent Seabrook’s 12th goal of the season, the Blackhawks couldn’t get anything past Rinne, who looked like his vintage self in the Nashville Predators’ 3-1 victory over the Blackhawks on Thursday night. The Blackhawks, who have lost two in a row, remain in second place in the Central Division with 81 points. The Dallas Stars, who lost to Winnipeg 6-3, remain atop the Division with 82 points. St. Louis, which lost to the New York Rangers, is third with 79 points.

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The biggest news of the night, however, didn’t happen on the ice. The Blackhawks acquired Andrew Ladd from the Jets just prior to the game. In return, the Jets got forward Marko Dano, the Blackhawks’ first-round pick of the 2016 NHL draft and a conditional pick in the 2018 draft.

The Blackhawks will enjoy the potential lines with Ladd’s addition but on Thursday night, they couldn’t muster enough offense with their current lineup. Yep, they had chances, but Rinne stopped all but one. On the other side the Predators got that game-winner late. Calle Jarnkrok got it with 1:51 remaining in regulation to keep the Predators undefeated in their last 10 road games (8-0-2).

Miikka Salomaki added an empty-net goal with 1:03 left in the game.

Corey Crawford stopped 29 of 31 in the loss.

[MORE: Blackhawks acquire Andrew Ladd from Winnipeg in blockbuster deal]

“We had some good chances Rinne made some spectacular saves on, but we just have to find a way to put the puck in the net. A couple of breakdowns there and the puck’s in the back of ours,” Trevor van Riemsdyk said. “Obviously we have to eliminate those, especially this time of year. Crow kept us in it, kept it tied a long time. They seemed to find a way there. We played a little better, we had our chances and we skated pretty well. But obviously in the end, the result is what mattered.”

The Blackhawks’ lineup will soon change a bit. They’ll bring back a veteran player with a lot of familiarity. On Thursday, however, their current lineup came up just short.

“It seemed like it was a pretty defensive-minded game where there weren’t a whole lot of scoring chances. Unfortunately they were able to get one late in the game there,” Duncan Keith said. “Frustrating way to lose.”

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals


Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: