Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks: Game Highlights
Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks: Game Highlights (Credit: )

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CHICAGO -- — Filip Forsberg got his 10th career hat trick and set a Nashville franchise record with 46 goals, and the Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1 on Friday night. Kiefer Sherwood and Jason Zucker also scored for the playoff-bound Predators, who handed last-place Chicago its third straight loss. Luke Evangelista had two assists, and Kevin Lankinen finished with 25 saves against his former team, and also had an assist. “It's obviously awesome," Forsberg said of setting the goal-scoring mark. "The franchise has had a lot of great players and just to be mentioned as one of them is obviously something that's cool. “And hopefully I'm not done yet.” Philipp Kurashev scored for Chicago, and Arvid Soderblom had 35 saves. Nashville coach Andrew Brunette gave top goalie Juuse Saros, forward Gustav Nyquist and defenseman Ryan McDonagh the night off in a roster management move. The Predators are finishing the regular season with three games in four nights, ending Monday, before starting the playoffs next weekend. Nashville came up with a convincing effort against Chicago to keep rolling toward the postseason. “We’ve got two more games to play before that, but keep building our game,” Forsberg said. “I thought tonight was a pretty solid effort and we’re going to need that whoever we play.” Saros didn’t even dress, so Lankinen was backed up by Troy Grosenick who was called up from Milwaukee of the AHL. Lankinen got solid defensive support in this one. "It's unbelievable how we're playing right now," he said. “Just watching the guys grind and hound and suffocate other teams. It's fun to be back there and we don't give them much life.” Forsberg opened the scoring with his team record-setting 44th goal, on the power-play 5:53 in. From the right circle, he fired a high shot just inside the left post with Evangelista screening Soderblom. It moved him past the Predators’ previous mark of 43 goal in a season, set by Matt Duchene in 2021-22. Sherwood made it 2-0 with 57 seconds left in the first, digging out a loose puck in the crease and popping it in. “Not a great start,” Chicago coach Luke Richardson said. “They're a big, strong team. We've played a few of those lately, and just turnovers and mistakes in the D-zone.” Forsberg scored his second goal at 5:22 of the second. After the Blackhawks mishandled the puck in the slot, Forsberg swatted it away from Kurashev and past Soderblom in one motion. Zucker cut in off left wing and beat Soderblom point blank for a power-play goal at 9:39 to give Nashville a 4-0 lead. Kurashev got Chicago on the board with a 5-on-3 power-play goal with 3:02 left in the second period. Moments earlier, NHL leading rookie scorer Connor Bedard took his 204th shot on goal of the season, breaking Chicago’s record of 203 shots by a first-year player set by Hall-of-Fame defenseman Doug Wilson in 1977-78. Forsberg completed his hat trick on a one-timer from the left side of the crease during a power-play at 1:37 of the third. In his 12th season with Nashville, the 29-year-old Forsberg is the team’s all-time goal scoring leader with 285 goals and is second in points with 603. UP NEXT Predators: Host Columbus on Saturday night. Blackhawks: Host Carolina on Sunday night. ------ AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL