Blackhawks: Ryan Hartman Records Hat Trick in Win Over Predators

CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks notched their third victory in a span of four nights on Sunday night as they defeated the Nashville Predators at the United Center, by a score of 5-2. The victory pushed the Blackhawks to 3-1 since the calendar flipped on their 2016-2017 campaign, with their lone loss in the last week coming last Monday at the hands of the St. Louis Blues in the Winter Classic at Busch Stadium.

At the 7:45 mark in the first period the on Sunday night, Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin blasted his signature one-timer snap-shot past Predators goalie Pekka Rinne to give the Hawks’ an early 1-0 lead, the goal was the 17th of the season for Panarin.

The Predators evened the score up just under a minute later when Mattias Ekholm beat Hawks’ goaltender Corey Crawford for the equalizing goal.

With the Blackhawks and Predators tied at two-a-piece in the third period, Ryan Hartman scored on a goal in front of the net on a Richard Panik rebound, giving the Hawks’ the lead for good. Hartman would score two more goals in the third period en route to a natural hat trick, the first of Hartman’s career, and a Blackhawks victory.

Mattias Ekholm scored for the Preds’ and Mike Fisher recorded two assists on the evening, while Predators goalie Pekka Rinne saved 26 of 31 shots on goal on Sunday night.

Panarin and Hjalmarsson scored the Blackhawks other goals outside of Hartman’s third period hat trick, and Corey Crawford stopped 25 of 27 Nashville shots on the night for his 15th win of the season.

The Blackhawks ran their season record to 26-12-5, notching their 57th point of the campaign. Now halfway through the 2016-2017 season the Blackhawks remain in first place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of Central Division rival Minnesota.

The Blackhawks have the night off tonight as they prepare to host the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center on Tuesday night. The Blackhawks and Red Wings have played each other more than any other pair of NHL teams in their long storied histories, but have lost the luster that their rivalry used to hold since the NHL moved the Red Wings to the Eastern Conference a few years ago.

The Red Wings are currently 17-18-5 on the season, sitting in the 15th seed in the Eastern Conference, ahead of only the New York Islanders. You can catch the Blackhawks attempt at their fourth consecutive victory on Tuesday night at 7:30 PM (CT) on WGN (TV) and 720AM-WGN (Radio).

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