Series (Game 4 of 8)

Series tied 4-4

Game 1: Thursday, October 5th
Game 2: Thursday, October 12th
Game 3: Saturday, December 2nd
Game 4: Wednesday, December 20th
Game 5: Friday, January 5th
Game 6: Saturday, January 20th
Game 7: Friday, January 26th
Game 8: Tuesday, April 3rd

Predators 2

(23-8-3, 49 pts)

Blackhawks 1

(14-14-5, 33 pts)

8:30 PM ET, December 20, 2006

United Center, Chicago, Illinois

1 2 3 T
NSH 0 0 22
CHI 1 0 01

P. Kariya (Predators - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

M. Havlat (Blackhawks - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

C. Mason (Predators - G): Saves: 28, Save Pct.: .966

Kariya rallies Preds past Hawks for fifth straight win

CHICAGO (AP) -- Paul Kariya showed off his goal-scoring form that his been missing most of this season.

Elias Says
Paul Kariya scored a pair of third-period goals to give the Predators a come-from-behind 2-1 win over the Blackhawks in Chicago. It was Kariya's first multiple-goal game of the season, coming in his 34th game.

Kariya had six multi-goal games for Nashville last season, but he didn't register the first one until Dec. 21, when he scored a pair of third-period goals in a 6-1 win in Chicago.

• For more, see Elias Says

Kariya scored twice in the third period, and the Nashville Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight win.

Kariya's power-play goal with 7:02 left snapped a 1-1 tie. He fired a screened shot from the top of the right circle past goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

"It's been a tough year goal-scoring wise for me, but tonight I got a couple of breaks," Kariya said. "We were doing a better job in the third period of getting shots through, through traffic or screens or whatever."

Kariya tied it at 1 just 6:41 into the period ruining Khabibulin's bid for his first regular-season shutout since March 1, 2004, when he was with Tampa Bay.

Kariya has only nine goals this season, but he leads the Predators with 34 points. He had six of Nashville's 19 shots on Khabibulin -- including four in the final period.

"He's been one of our best forwards the last little while here," coach Barry Trotz said. "In Paul Kariya fashion, he got a couple of big goals tonight. He made it happen."

The late rally enabled Nashville to beat Chicago for the first time in four meetings this season.

"They've got a good hockey club out there and they've had our number all year," Kariya said. "It wasn't a great game for us, but we'll take the two points."

Chris Mason made 28 saves while starting his 13th straight start for Nashville. He is 9-3-1 since top goalie Tomas Vokoun underwent hand surgery on Nov. 27.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game," Mason said. "It seems like they're one of the hottest teams in the league right now. We were lucky enough to be able to wait it out."

Martin Havlat scored for the Blackhawks, 7-2-3 since Denis Savard replaced fired coach Trent Yawney on Nov. 27.

Havlat has five goals and five assists in seven games since returning from a sprained right ankle.

"We played pretty well, but in the third period we gave the game away," said Khabibulin, who finished with 17 saves. "You can't do that in your own building."

Havlat opened the scoring with 5:36 left in the first period.

After Ryan Suter's clearing pass bounded off Blackhawks forward Peter Bondra, Havlat caught it at center ice with his glove. He dropped the puck to his stick, moved in 1-on-1 against defenseman Greg Zanon and beat Mason with a shot high on the stick side.

"We had chances to get it to 2-0," Savard said. "Obviously, we need to shoot a little more.

"Their goalie made some good saves. Overall, our performance was good. We just didn't finish."

Kariya tied it after taking a a long lead pass from David Legwand. Kariya gained a step on defenseman Duncan Keith and ripped a low shot past Khabibulin's glove side.

Game notes

The Blackhawks dressed seven defensemen. ... Bondra, signed by Blackhawks on Dec. 10, needs one goal for 500 in the NHL. He scored No. 499 in his first game with Chicago on Dec. 12 at St. Louis, but is scoreless in four games since. ... Nashville LW Darcy Hordichuk was a healthy scratch.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press