Final

Series (Game 4 of 8)

Chicago leads 5-3

Game 1: Sunday, November 4th
Predators5Final
Blackhawks2
Game 2: Thursday, November 15th
Blackhawks4Final
OT
Predators5
Game 3: Wednesday, December 19th
Predators2Final
Blackhawks5
Game 4: Wednesday, December 26th
Predators2Final
Blackhawks5
Game 5: Sunday, January 13th
Blackhawks3Final
SO
Predators2
Game 6: Thursday, February 14th
Blackhawks6Final
Predators1
Game 7: Saturday, March 22nd
Blackhawks1Final
SO
Predators2
Game 8: Friday, April 4th
Predators1Final
Blackhawks3

Predators 2

(16-17-2, 34 pts)

Blackhawks 5

(19-15-2, 40 pts)

8:30 PM ET, December 26, 2007

United Center, Chicago, Illinois

1 2 3 T
NSH 0 0 22
CHI 2 0 35

J. Toews (Blackhawks - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

R. Lang (Blackhawks - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

N. Khabibulin (Blackhawks - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .938

Khabibulin makes 30 saves and Blackhawks win fourth straight

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Blackhawks got key goals from Robert Lang and big saves from Nikolai Khabibulin to win their season-high fourth straight game.

Lang scored two goals in the third period and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 5-2 on Wednesday night.

"Everyone knows that Nick was the first star tonight on both sides of the red line," Jonathan Toews said. "He won the game for us.

"All in all, I don't think we played as well as we could tonight. But we came away with two points and we're happy about it."

Both of Lang's goals restored two-goal leads for the Blackhawks.

Patrick Sharp, Toews and Patrick Kane each had a goal and assist for the Blackhawks.

Khabibulin was sharp and made 30 saves. Among them were numerous point-blank chances, including several on odd-man breaks, that kept Nashville from tying the game.

The Blackhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period but struggled to stay ahead.

"We had a decent start, but again got ourselves in trouble with turnovers," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "They put a lot of pressure on us."

But the Blackhawks didn't collapse before a season-high crowd of 20,511.

"I don't think about that [the crowd]," Khabibulin said. "I just step out on the ice and do the best I can. I'm just happy we've won four straight."

Alexander Radulov and Marek Zidlicky scored for Nashville, which had won its previous two games. The Predators went 0-for 6 on the power play.

Sharp's goal, which opened the scoring in the first period, was his league-leading seventh short-handed. As a team, the Blackhawks lead the NHL with 12 short-handed goals.

"We had our chances, but we didn't bury them," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We had three power-play chances in the first period.

"Every time we come in here they seem to score a short-handed goal," he added. "That can be pretty deflating."

Dan Ellis started in goal for Nashville. He was replaced by Chris Mason late in the first period after allowing two goals on the Chicago's first three shots.

Mason permitted two goals on 18 shots

"Khabibulin made some great saves when he had to," Mason said. "We need to get some gritty goals on deflection and screens. We don't have the same kind of skilled goal-scoring we in previous years."

Chicago defenseman Brent Sopel suffered a broken finger in the first period and, according Savard, will miss two-to-four weeks.

Blackhawks blueliner James Wisniewski sustained an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his knee in a fight at the end of the game with Nashville's Jordin Tootoo. Savard expects Wisniewski, who will undergo an MRI, to be sidelined for at least four-to-six weeks.

Game notes


The Blackhawks placed three players -- RW Martin Havlat (groin), C Dave Bolland (broken finger) and LW Ben Eager (concussion) on injured reserve on Wednesday. Havlat, one of the league's top offensive talents, was injured Saturday in Ottawa and will miss at least a week. Havlat sat out 22 games earlier this season with a shoulder injury. In 12 games, he has five goals and six assists. ... Nashville D Shea Weber missed his second game with an ankle injury.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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