Tanner Jeannot scored 58 seconds into overtime to give the Nashville Predators their seventh win in a row, 3-2 against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center in Chicago on Friday.
Jeannot redirected a pass from Roman Josi on a 2-on-1.
Thomas Novak scored his first NHL goal for the Predators (19-10-1), who were without coach John Hynes and eight players who are in NHL COVID-19 protocol. Juuse Saros made 17 saves for his fifth win in a row.
The Predators have recalled seven players from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League in the past week.
“It was a really good team effort all the way through the lineup,” Jeannot said. “I can’t say enough about the character of this group. Everyone coming in is doing their job, playing their style and buying into what this team wants to do. We’re having lots of fun.”
Karl Taylor, coach of Milwaukee of the American Hockey League, coached Nashville for the second game in a row.
“There’s things happening every day, curve balls coming to all the teams right now with the virus and the things people are facing,” Taylor said. “It was a gutsy effort, the guys deserved the victory, and it was great to see Thomas Novak get his first goal.”
Video: NSH@CHI: Jeannot finishes a 2-on-1 for game-winner
Kirby Dach and Jonathan Toews scored for the Blackhawks (11-15-3), and Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves.
“We were just off,” Chicago coach Derek King said. “Passes weren’t flat, we were bobbling pucks. It was just one of those games where it just wasn’t clicking for us. But on the positive side, we didn’t have a great game and we tied it up, we kept battling. It’s too bad we got the OT loss.”
Nashville took a 1-0 lead when Novak scored on a wrist shot from the top of the right face-off circle for a power-play goal at 11: 56 of the first period.
Dach tied it 1-1 at 13: 57. MacKenzie Entwistle made a short pass from behind the net for a sharp-angle shot near the goal line.
“It’s nice scoring, but this time of year points for the team are more important than anything, so we’ve got to find a way to start stringing some wins together here,” Dach said.
Colton Sissons gave Nashville a 2-1 lead at 11: 33 of the third period on a power-play goal after a pass by Filip Forsberg.
Sisson was an alternate captain for the first time, one night after he had three assists in a 5-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche.
“He’s been elevated in the roster and he’s grabbing the opportunity that’s been presented to him,” Taylor said. “He’s leading this group down the right path.”
Video: NSH@CHI: Novak wires PPG home for his 1st in the NHL
Toews tied it 2-2 at 13: 55 after Riley Stillman made a no-look pass for a one-timer.
Nashville played without forwards Nick Cousins, Ryan Johansen, Mikael Granlund, Philip Tomasino, Michael McCarron and Matt Luff, and defensemen Ben Harpur and Mark Borowiecki.
“It’s obviously different, but, all in all, it’s been pretty seamless,” Sissons said. “We haven’t changed the script whatsoever. They’re totally familiar with what we do up here, and we all know our system and our identity. They do the same thing in Milwaukee. It’s been no problem at all. They do a terrific job.”
NOTES: The Blackhawks have alternated wins and losses for 14 games (7-6-1). … Toews has three goals and one assist in a four-game point streak. … The Predators have a winning streak of at least seven games for the fourth time in their history. … Novak had six assists in his first 26 NHL games. … Jeannot scored in back-to-back games for the first time in his 45 NHL games. … Predators assistants Dan Lambert, Dan Hinote and Todd Richards, and goaltending coach Ben Vanderklok are also in protocol.
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