Third-period scoring surge lifts Predators to landmark victory

Friday, April 16, 2010 at 10:10pm
Staff reports

J.P. Dumont scored a pair of third-period goals as the Nashville Predators rallied for the first road playoff win in franchise history, a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday at the United Center.

The game-winner came with 10:37 to go when Dumont converted the rebound of a David Legwand shot. That goal was the result of a sustained offensive attack, which produced five shots on goal – and three other attempts – in a span of 49 seconds.

Jerred Smithson and Martin Erat each scored empty-net goals in the final 48 seconds.

The four goals in the final 20 minutes set a franchise record for goals in a period of a playoff game. That also matched the most goals ever scored by Nashville in a playoff road game.

The Predators were winless in 10 previous all-time playoff contests away from home. Only once in those games did they score more than twice.

They also were 1-3 in series openers. The only other time they won Game 1 was in 2006. They lost the next four that year to San Jose.

Dumont tied the game 1-1 when his backhand flip from the right wing boards bounced past Chicago goalie Antti Niemi, off the far post and in 1:31 into the third. It was the Predators’ fastest playoff goal ever from the start of a period.

Patrick Kane gave Chicago a 1-0 with 10:17 to play in the second period. Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne left a rebound in the crease, and Kane knocked it across the goal line as he drove the net.

Nashville outshot Chicago 13-4 in the third period. The final shot totals were even at 26 apiece.

Dumont is the only Nashville player to score two goals in a period of a playoff game. He also did it once before, April 13, 2007 against San Jose.

Legwand finished with two assists.

Patric Hornqvist, who missed the final regular-season contest with an upper body injury, played but did not finish the contest. His status for Game 2 on Sunday (7:30 p.m., United Center) is uncertain.