NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- Steve Sullivan and the Nashville
Predators know what a disheartening loss to the Chicago
Blackhawks on Tuesday night means for their slim playoff hopes.
"I think our mind-set coming into this week was that we have to
run the table," Sullivan said after a 4-2 loss. "And we didn't.
We didn't think two-out-of-three wins was going to be enough.
Now we have to hope that it is."
Patrick Kane and Martin Havlat each had a goal and an assist in
the Blackhawks' fourth straight win.
The Predators close out the season on the road at Detroit on
Thursday night and at Minnesota on Friday. They are two points
behind eighth-place St. Louis, which won 5-1 at Phoenix.
"Our guys are not going to quit until the end," Predators coach
Barry Trotz said. "We have a daunting task at Detroit.
Hopefully, we will take care of business there and go on to
Minnesota and take care of business. We also need a little bit
The Predators jumped out to a 1-0 lead on power play goal by
Vernon Fiddler, but the Blackhawks answered with three
second-period goals, two of them in the first 50 seconds by
Jonathan Toews and Dustin Byfuglien.
"We were in a stun mode for a bit there," Trotz said. "That
might be the worst 38 seconds of the year.
"We come out of the locker room down 1-0 against a very good
Chicago team and you are hoping to build momentum. Before we sat
down and got a chance to get comfortable for the second period
they had already scored two goals," Trotz said. "That put us on
heels for the rest of the second period."
Fiddler opened the scoring on the power play. He shot the puck
across the crease and it bounced off of Chicago's Matt Walker
and past goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.
But in the second period the Blackhawks struck three times.
Toews needed only 12 seconds to beat Nashville goaltender Pekka
Rinne with a wrist shot on a two-on-one break. Byfuglien scored
38 seconds later on a rebound.
Kane got Chicago's third goal of the second period, capitalizing
on a turnover by Nashville's Dan Hamhuis. Kane skated through
the inside edge of the left circle and backhanded a shot that
went between Rinne's stick and the left post.
"The second and third goals by Chicago were the result of
blatant turnovers by us," Trotz said. "We can't have those
against a team like that. They are too strong offensively.
"Those were two relatively routine plays we had to make. We
didn't do that."
The Predators answered early in the third period. Sullivan was
skating down the left side of the ice and found Arnott low in
the slot. Arnott beat Khabibulin to his stick side.
'We battled back when Arnott scored there," said Trotz. "In the
third period we were resilient. But we just couldn't get another
"Chicago played a real strong defensive game. They had a lot of
Havlat clinched it when he hit the empty net with 55 seconds
remaining in regulation.
"I still think we have the motivation of knowing that we haven't
accomplished our goals et and I think that's pushing us,"
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was a huge two points
"It really helped us position ourselves where we can control our
destiny in that area. We'll see how it plays out from there."