NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Chicago Blackhawks turned away a big charge by the Nashville Predators down the stretch.
Anton Forsberg led the way.
Forsberg made 22 of his career-high 42 saves in the third period, helping the Blackhawks beat the Predators 2-1 on Tuesday night.
“Today we actually worked as a team,” said Forsberg, who is sharing the goal with Jeff Glass while Corey Crawford is out with an upper-body injury. “We did a really good job of keeping most of the shots outside. I know it was a lot of shots, but it didn’t feel like it was that many hard scoring chances, so that way I think it was a team effort.”
Last-place Chicago, which needs a big finish to get into the playoffs, returned from the All-Star break with its second straight win. Vinnie Hinostroza had a goal and an assist and David Kampf also scored for the Blackhawks.
Kyle Turris had Nashville’s only goal and Juuse Saros made 29 saves. The Predators lost in regulation for the first time since Jan. 2.
“They just didn’t go in,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “At the end of the day, there’s probably close to 30 chances there and we scored one goal, so that’s not enough. We were OK, we were good enough, we kept it to two goals against a team that can score goals, but we couldn’t score. We had lots of chances.”
Kampf got the lead for the Blackhawks at 3:03 of the first.
On the right boards, Tomas Jurco knocked down an attempted clear by Saros and kicked the puck toward Hinostroza in the right circle. Hinostroza poked the puck off Nashville defenseman Roman Josi, and Kampf beat Saros with a wrist shot high to the glove side.
Turris tied it with his ninth goal 2:12 into the second.
Craig Smith forced a turnover by Forsberg behind the Chicago net. Smith passed to Scott Hartnell below the goal line, and he fed Turris all alone in the slot for his first goal since Dec. 29.
“Especially at home, we like to start fast and get on top of teams and we didn’t do that,” Turris said. “We talked about it being a big, important, division game against a really good team, and we knew that they were going to come out hot and we had to match that. It was just a slow start, and we have to do better than that.”
Hinostroza got the eventual game-winner at 14:33 of the second.
Inside the Chicago blue line, Patrick Kane absorbed a hit from Nashville’s Miikka Salomaki but was able to move the puck to Nick Schmaltz. Schmaltz then carried it into the Nashville zone on the right side and sent a pass to Hinostroza at the top of the right faceoff circle. Aided by a screen from Predators defenseman Matt Irwin, Hinostroza fired a one-timer by Saros on the far side.
Kane’s assist was his 30th of the season.
“One of the best players in the league is taking a hit to make a play, making unselfish plays goes such a long way,” Hinostroza said. “He made a great play, (Schmaltz) made a great pass and I was fortunate to see that go in. The more guys we have sacrificing themselves for the team, the better we’re going to do.”
Nashville made a furious push to tie it in the third, but Forsberg stepped up for Chicago. He made one of his best plays with 1:30 remaining, denying Calle Jarnkrok’s try from the low slot.
“He was great tonight,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “First 40 minutes we were all right in the game, but we certainly put him through a different task the last 20. I thought they had some great looks and the opportunities they had on rebounds would have been in the net, but he absorbed a lot of pucks from point-blank positioning.”
NOTES: Salomaki played his 100th career NHL game. … The Predators are 0-10-2 when trailing after two periods this season. … Hinostroza has points in three consecutive games. … All four games in this season’s series between the teams have been decided by one goal, with each team winning two games.
Blackhawks: At Vancouver on Thursday.
Predators: Host Los Angeles on Thursday.