CHICAGO – For the second straight game, Patrick Kane waited until the very end to keep his point streak alive.
Kane reached 23 games with an empty-net goal with 1:36 left, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Nashville had pulled Pekka Rinne when Kane fired the puck into the Predators’ net from just short of the red line. He broke Bobby Hull’s franchise record when he reached 22 with an assist on Artemi Panarin’s empty-netter with 46 seconds left in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Winnipeg.
“I wasn’t thinking about it too much until the end, and you go out there and you hear the crowd cheering, and they’re looking for something,” Kane said after Chicago’s second straight win. “That’s when you kind of want to get something at the end.”
Kane’s 17th goal of the season was his 600th NHL point. The winger, who entered as the NHL’s leading scorer, has 14 goals and 23 assists during his streak.
“Nice to see him extend it,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “This is like all the other games he’s played.”
“The other night was noticeable. Tonight was business as usual.”
Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Shaw each had a goal and an assist for Chicago, and Corey Crawford made 36 saves. Dennis Rasmussen scored in his NHL debut.
Eric Nystrom scored for Nashville in its first meeting with Chicago since the Blackhawks won their first-round playoff series in six games last spring. Rinne blocked 20 shots.
The Predators were coming off a 3-2 victory at Boston on Monday night.
“I thought we played hard tonight,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “We’re doing a lot of good things. Like I said, the results tonight we don’t like.”
Rasmussen opened the scoring with a deflection at 10:45 of the first. At the edge of the crease, he tipped in Shaw’s shot from the slot after Shaw picked off a weak Nashville clearing pass.
Shaw’s power-play goal on a screened one-timer from the left circle with 5:45 left in the second gave Chicago a 2-0 lead. Shaw was set up by Teravainen’s slick cross-ice touch pass.
Crawford was especially sharp in the second to keep Chicago ahead as the Predators outshot the Blackhawks 14-6.
Crawford slid quickly to rob Calle Jarnkrok with a right pad save at 6:52. He stopped Viktor Arvidsson, and then popped up off the ice to make a glove save on Barret Jackman’s rebound with three minutes left.
“One of the key points in the game,” Crawford said. “That was a big win for us against another team in our division. It was a back-and-forth kind of game.”
The Predators cut it to 2-1 with 45.3 seconds remaining in the period when Nystrom drove to the net, slipped past two defenders and Roman Josi’s centring pass deflected in off Nystrom’s skate. The goal withstood a video review because Nystrom did not kick at the puck.
Teravainen made it 3-1 just 14 seconds into the third on a rising shot from the top of the right circle. He hesitated a split second before firing and beat Rinne high on the stick side.