CHICAGO (AP)Tanner Jeannot scored in overtime, Thomas Novak and Colton Sissons also scored, and the short-handed Nashville Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 Friday night.
The Predators won their seventh straight game and second in two nights despite having eight players in COVID-19 protocols. Defenseman Mark Borowiecki was ruled out following a positive test 90 minutes before faceoff.
The entire coaching staff is also out because of COVID-19. This was the second game Karl Taylor, head coach of their farm club in Milwaukee, ran the bench with his assistant, Scott Ford. Many of his players were called up as well.
”The guys really gutted it out,” Taylor said. ”We didn’t hurt ourselves early.”
With three of their top four scorers out, Nashville played a tight defensive game, allowing only 19 shots – and holding Blackhawks star Patrick Kane to just two – while still managing to send 31 at Marc-Andre Fleury. Nashville killed five Chicago power-plays.
”All in all it’s been pretty seamless,” Sissons said of the revolving roster and coaches. ”We didn’t change the script. They do the same thing in Milwaukee that we do.”
Jonathan Toews and Kirby Dach scored for the Blackhawks.
Jeannot got behind Chicago defenseman Jake McCabe and deflected Roman Josi’s right-wing pass by Fleury before piling into the net himself 58 seconds into overtime.
”We’re all cheering for Tanner,” said Taylor, who coached him in Milwaukee. ”When that happens, coaches are going to work hard for him. He deserves it because of the work he’s put into it.”
”Everybody’s buying into the style,” Jeannot said.
Toews tied it at 2 with his third goal in four games, converting Riley Stillman’s pass into a half-open net from the right slot with 2:56 left in regulation. Toews started the season without a goal in his first 25 games.
”We didn’t have a great game but tied it up and kept battling,” interim Chicago coach Derek King said. ”We were just off. They trap it up in the neutral zone and they’re hoping for you to get frustrated. It fed right into what they were trying to do.”
Nashville took a 2-1 lead on a power play midway through the third. Sissions beat a sprawling Fleury from low in the right circle with a shot that squeezed in between the netminder’s left leg and the post.
Novak opened the scoring with his first NHL goal, a 35-foot wrist shot that slid over Fleury’s glove hand 11:56 into the first with Nashville on a power play.
Chicago tied it two minutes later when Dach broke a 21-game scoring drought by converting MacKenzie Entwhistle’s pass from behind the goal.
Borowiecki and an unnamed member of the Predators’ traveling party tested positive in the morning, bringing Nashville’s total to 16 people sidelined. That group includes top centers Mikael Granlund and Ryan Johansen, while C Matt Duchesne missed his fourth game with an upper-body injury. … Chicago D Calvin de Haan was a scratch because of a non-COVID illness. … Chicago’s game against Florida on Tuesday was postponed because of the COVID-19 outbreak with the Panthers. A makeup date is pending.
The Predators visit Carolina on Sunday before returning home to play Winnipeg on Tuesday.
The Blackhawks are at Dallas on Saturday night and then host the Stars on Thursday.
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