Alex DeBrincat scored 37 seconds into overtime and Kevin Lankinen made 20 saves to lift the host Chicago Blackhawks to a 2-1 victory against the Nashville Predators on Sunday night in the team’s first game under interim coach Derek King.
Leading an odd-man rush with Patrick Kane early in the extra period, DeBrincat took a brilliant backhand pass from Kane to beat Nashville goaltender Juuse Saros.
DeBrincat scurried to collect the game puck for King, who was promoted from the Blackhawks’ American Hockey League affiliate in Rockford, Ill., after Chicago fired coach Jeremy Colliton on Saturday following a 1-9-2 start.
King, 54, ascended to the head role at Rockford after Colliton was hired from the farm club to replace the fired Joel Quenneville in early November 2018.
Saros denied a wave of Chicago scoring opportunities early in a power play midway through the third period to keep the game tied at 1, then shined again as the man-advantage time expired.
Lunging to his left, Lankinen stopped a prime chance off the stick of Nashville’s Matt Duchene moments later.
The Predators notched the game’s first three shots on goal but finished with only five after the first period. During one stretch, the Blackhawks held the Predators without a shot on goal for 12 minutes.
Chicago opened the scoring with 12:45 to go in the second period, registering his fourth goal in six games by banging in a rebound.
Nashville tied the game 1:50 later, as Alexandre Carrier stuffed home an unassisted goal after maneuvering from the back of the net.
Saros finished with 30 saves for the Predators.
Nashville went 7-0-1 against Chicago last season, outscoring the Blackhawks 25-14 while yielding two goals or fewer in seven of the eight meetings.
Predators forward Filip Forsberg and defenseman Mark Borowiecki missed the game with upper-body injuries.
Hagel left the game in the third period with an apparent arm or wrist injury.
–Field Level Media