By Jon Fromi
The Chicago Blackhawks were in Nashville Thursday night to open a two-game road trip. James Neal and Pekka Rinne were anything but gracious hosts to the Hawks, leading the Predators to a 3-2 victory.
Rinne made 30 saves on the night to hold on to a Nashville lead. Neal took care of the scoring with his fifth career hat trick. As a result, the Predators now lead Chicago by three points in the Central Division standings.
First Period-Chicago got on the board first, with Ben Smith making a sweet spin move in the left corner, maintaining possession of the puck and hitting Marcus Kruger behind the Nashville net. When Kruger came around the goal and was looking to pass, there was Smith waiting at the left post. Smith knocked in his first goal of the season at the 12:21 mark to put the Hawks up 1-0.