Dave Bolland’s go-ahead goal in the second period helped the Chicago Blackhawks secure a 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators in a Central Division match-up on Sunday.
Dustin Byfuglien scored in the opening period and Martin Havlat delivered an empty-netter with 10 seconds remaining for Chicago, who avenged Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Predators in Nashville with their first win in three games.
Martin Erat tallied for Nashville 11:03 into the first period, two minutes after Byfuglien scored on a powerplay for Chicago. Nikolai Khabibulin made 26 saves for the Blackhawks.
“The last couple of games we didn’t have good starts or first periods,” Khabibulin told reporters.
“Whether it’s mentally or physically, we were a little flat. Coming back home we really wanted to have a good start and use the fans to our advantage,” added Khabibulin, who improved his record on home ice to 7-0-3.
“It wasn’t a pretty game, but we accomplished what we needed to,” he said.
The difference between the Blackhawks’ play on Saturday and Sunday was the team’s attitude, said the Predators’ J.P. Dumont.
“The Blackhawks were a lot more physical,” Dumont said. “They are a very skilled team, and they came out more determined.”
Byfuglien, who scored his power-play goal from the top of the left circle, said the team had realized it needed to refocus.
“We were in a little slump and we got down on ourselves and got away from our game plan,” he said. “We got back into it [on Sunday night] and got on the puck and did our job.”
OILERS 2, BLUES 1
At Edmonton, Alberta, Sam Gagner scored the winning goal and set up another, while Dwayne Roloson made 21 saves in Edmonton’s victory over St Louis.
Gilbert Brule also scored and Ryan Potulny had two assists in his first game for the Oilers. Potulny was called up from Springfield of the second-tier American Hockey League on Sunday to replace Zach Stortini, placed on injured reserve after sustaining a lower-body injury Friday in a fight with San Jose’s Brad Staubitz.
DUCKS 4, DEVILS 3
At Anaheim, California, Chris Kunitz scored twice in the third period for Anaheim, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 18 saves for his first win since Dec. 14.
Bobby Ryan and Samuel Pahlsson also scored for Anaheim. Corey Perry assisted on both of Kunitz’s goals in his return after a four-game suspension for elbowing Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux in the head on Jan. 2.