Tuesday's roundup: Seabrook lifts Blackhawks to 3 OT win
Chicago — Brent Seabrook scored on a booming slap shot 1 minute into the third overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Tuesday night in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series.
Seabrook's long drive beat a screened Pekka Rinne on the 100th shot of the longest game in Nashville history. Rookie Scott Darling made 50 saves for Chicago.
Brandon Saad and Antoine Vermette also scored for the Blackhawks, who grabbed a 3-1 series lead and can close out the Predators with a win in Nashville on Thursday night.
Colin Wilson and James Neal scored for Nashville, which carried a 2-1 lead into the third period. Rinne finished with 45 stops.
The first overtime featured a memorable duel between Rinne, who found some of the magic he had during Nashville's strong start to the season, and Darling, who was making his second career postseason start.
Rinne had a terrific sprawling stop on Andrew Desjardins' backhand after the forward cut across the goal about 13 minutes into the initial extra session. Rinne was so good he made the puck disappear at one point, with the game stopped for a couple minutes before he pulled it out of the inside of his right pad — drawing a round of cheers from the raucous crowd of 22,014.
On the other side, Darling robbed Neal with a glove save on his quick shot off a faceoff. He also denied Filip Forsberg on a prime opportunity midway through OT.
Each side looked more tired in the second overtime. The Predators killed off two power-play opportunities for the Blackhawks in the second extra session, and Chicago turned away a man-advantage chance for Nashville.
It finally came to an end when Seabrook scored his 14th career playoff goal at 1:16 a.m. Wednesday morning. The big defenseman also scored the last goal in Chicago's 4-2 victory in Game 3 on Sunday.
The Predators were once again without defenseman Shea Weber and forward Mike Fisher due to lower-body injuries. Fisher has been out since he got hurt in the series opener, and Weber did not travel to Chicago after he was injured in Game 2.
Fisher is day to day, and the team has said it plans to provide an update on Weber's status on Wednesday.
Neal was in the right spot at the right time after the Predators controlled the action for much of the second period. Neal and Blackhawks star Duncan Keith were right outside the crease when the defenseman's clearing attempt went off the forward's stick and caromed into the left side of the goal for a 2-1 lead at 17:02.
It was Neal's first playoff goal since last May 2 for Pittsburgh against the New York Rangers. The winger, who was acquired in a June trade with the Penguins, had just two goals and an assist in his last 15 games of the regular season.
Nashville outshot Chicago 14-7 in the second, forcing Darling to make solid stops on Ryan Ellis, Craig Smith and Viktor Stalberg to keep the Blackhawks in the game. The Predators were outscored 7-2 in the middle period in the first three games of the series.
It was pretty much a complete reversal in the third, with the Blackhawks dictating the action down the stretch. Marian Hossa made a smart drop pass to Saad, who shot it over Rinne's stick for the tying goal at 8:57.
Desjardins had a good look for Chicago with 45 seconds to go in regulation, but pushed it wide. Rinne got over to make a great stop on Hossa in the final seconds.
Saad's goal was Chicago's first one in the third period in the series. The Blackhawks outshot the Predators 12-5 in the third.
Seth Jones, who moved up to play with Roman Josi on Nashville's top defensive pairing with Weber out, made a nice play to help the Predators grab the lead in the first. With Bryan Bickell in the penalty box for hooking, Jones kept a clearing attempt in the offensive zone near the blue line.
Jones then passed over to Ellis, who was open for a big slap shot that went off Wilson and into the net at 11:38. It was Wilson's fourth goal of the series.
Vermette responded with his first goal since he was acquired in a trade with Arizona on Feb. 28. The veteran redirected a centering pass from Michal Rozsival past Rinne at 13:05, tying it at 1.
(At) Calgary 3, Vancouver 1: Jiri Hudler had a goal and an assist as the Flames head to Vancouver with the chance to win the series in Thursday's Game 5 and move past the first round for the first time since 2004.
Dennis Wideman had a pair of assists for the Flames. Goaltender Jonas Hiller made 28 saves for the win. Captain Henrik Sedin scored for the Canucks. Starter Eddie Lack was pulled after giving up three goals on seven shots in the first period. Ryan Miller turned away the 15 he faced in relief.
Washington 2, (at) N.Y. Islanders 1 (OT): Nicklas Backstrom scored 11:09 into overtime to lift Washington to a victory, and even its first-round playoff series against the New York Islanders.
Alex Ovechkin also scored and assisted on the decisive goal, which came off a faceoff to the right of the Islanders net. Backstrom dug the puck out in the right corner and worked his way up the boards.
He snapped a shot near the blue line that went through a crowd and sneaked inside the far post.
Casey Cizikas scored for the Islanders as the series shifts to Washington for Game 5 on Thursday.