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Better, but still a Blackhawks' loss

SoccerChicago BlackhawksPatrick SharpNikolai KhabibulinJason ArnottBasketball

The Blackhawks were determined to treat their dismal play Wednesday night against Columbus as an anomaly during an otherwise fine stretch of hockey.

They managed to prove that was the case Thursday night. But the result, while better, still was disappointing as the Predators rallied with three goals in the third period in a 5-4 overtime victory before 15,353 at the Sommet Center.

"It's frustrating going into the third period with a lead, and we're still trying to figure out what happened," said Patrick Sharp, who scored his seventh goal of the season during the Hawks' three-goal second period. "We don't play as aggressive as we'd like to in the third period. But we came back … tied it up and got the point."

The Blackhawks led 3-1 entering the third, but Nashville scored three straight goals to take a 4-3 lead into the final minute. Then a Dan Hamhuis delay-of-game penalty gave the Hawks a man advantage and, with goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin off the ice for a six-on-four advantage, they cashed in 15 seconds later as Jason Williams tied it 4-4 with this seventh goal off a feed from rookie Patrick Kane.

Nashville wasted little time scoring the game-winner when a deflected puck made its way into the net 19 seconds into overtime. Martin Erat got credit for the goal, which appeared to bounce off Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook.

"They threw it at the net, and somehow it bounces in off a few skates and sticks and a shoulder, and then it's in the net," Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith said of Erat's goal.

As the overtime defeat earned the Hawks a point, they are tied with Columbus and Nashville in the Central Division for second place behind Detroit. The Hawks are now 10-8-1 on the season and 1-0-1 on their current eight-game trip.

"I'm proud of the guys the way they answered back," Sharp said of Wednesday night's 4-2 loss to the Blue Jackets. "[Wednesday] night's effort was nowhere good enough. I feel like everybody who played [Thursday night] made a conscious effort to win their individual battles and bring that intensity."

Nashville jumped to a 1-0 lead when Jason Arnott picked up a loose puck in the slot and put it through Khabibulin's pads with 10 minutes 56 seconds elapsed in the first period.

The Hawks' Jonathan Toews tied it 1-1 at 5:11 when he broke in two-on-one with Kane on Nashville goalie Chris Mason and scored his eighth goal.

James Wisniewski made it 2-1 Blackhawks at the 12:12 mark of the second when he sent a shot that fluttered past Mason for the defenseman's fifth goal.

With 5:03 remaining in the second, Keith skated down the right side and made a perfect feed along the goal line to Sharp, who tipped it in for his seventh goal to make it 3-1.

Nashville rallied in the third on goals by Alexander Radulov and Vernon Fiddler before Radek Bonk's score with 3:18 left capped it. Then Williams sent it to overtime.

"We're disappointed the victory got away," Williams said. "This is something we've been trying to address. We can't sit back and let teams come after us wave after wave and expect to win games. We have to have a better mind-set going into the third period with the lead and learn to bury teams."

One-timerDefenseman Brent Sopel has not yet recovered from the flu. He took a Thursday flight from Columbus back to Chicago.

ckuc@tribune.com

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