Forsling, Gustafsson lead Hawks over Preds

Gustav Forsling and Erik Gustafsson each scored, and the Chicago Blackhawks held on for a 2-1 win over the visiting Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews had assists for Chicago, which won for only the second time in the past 12 games. The Blackhawks evened the regular-season series against the division rival Predators at one win apiece.

Kevin Fiala scored Nashville's lone goal. The Predators failed to collect a point for the first time in five games.

Blackhawks goaltender Cam Ward made 30 saves on 31 shots to improve to 5-5-4. Ward made his first appearance since primary starter Corey Crawford was placed on injured reserve because of a concussion.

Nashville could not solve Ward despite using an extra attacker for most of the final three minutes. Ward turned aside all 13 shots he faced in the third period.

For the Predators, Pekka Rinne stopped 34 of 36 shots but dropped to 14-6-1.

Nashville opened the scoring with 32.2 seconds remaining in the first period. Fiala carried the puck in the right circle and snapped a rising shot into the top left corner of the net for his sixth goal of the season.

Chicago evened the score at 1 with 4:38 to go in the second period. From the top of the left circle, Forsling fired a shot through traffic for his second goal of the season and his first since Nov. 27 against the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Blackhawks pulled ahead 2-1 with a power-play goal less than two minutes later. Gustafsson's slap shot from near the blue line deflected off Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis and into the net for his seventh goal.

Blackhawks forward Marcus Kruger did not return after he took an inadvertent elbow to the face from ex-teammate and current Predators forward Ryan Hartman during the second period. Kruger skated slowly toward the locker room as a crew from the arena helped to clean blood off the ice.

Chicago improved to 7-7-4 at home. Nashville dropped to 8-6-2 on the road.

--Field Level Media

12/18/2018 23:20

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