Subban does it all in Predators' win vs. Blackhawks

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[October 15, 2016]  NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- P.K. Subban did it all Friday night.

He scored a goal. He moved the puck up ice with speed and skill. He was a physical presence, adding a new element to a potentially burgeoning rivalry between the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks.

And after Nashville finished off a 3-2 win at sold-out Bridgestone Arena, Subban even took charge of the postgame media scrum, instructing teammates Ryan Johansen and Roman Josi to take their turns before he did.

"He's a passionate person," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said of Subban. "He's passionate in life and he's passionate on the ice. He had a great game."

Acquired from the Montreal Canadiens on June 29 in a blockbuster one-for-one trade that sent former Nashville captain Shea Weber to La Belle Province, Subban wasted little time putting his stamp on his new team.

His first shot as a Predator beat Corey Crawford at 7:46 of the first period, after which Subban did his trademark fist pump low to the ice while the crowd of 17,256 roared at a level which would have suggested a playoff game rather than a mid-October matchup.

"I wasn't even thinking about anything like that," Subban said. "I just wanted to play hard and fast, and do what the coaching staff asked me to do. It'd been almost six months since I played a real game that meant something."

Subban's marker established the game's leading trend -- Chicago (0-2-0) taking penalties and Nashville taking advantage of them in its season opener. All of its goals happened with the man advantage, and all occurred off the same sequence, a point blast which found the net's backside either on its own or with help.

Roman Josi aped Subban's point blast at 16:33 of the first period as the Blackhawks ceded entirely too much room for Josi to beat a screened Crawford and tie the game at 2.

Thirty-six seconds after Artem Anisimov took a minor for delay of game, Josi ripped a slapper that newly-minted captain Mike Fisher deflected past a helpless Crawford at 16:36 of the second period, breaking the game's last tie.

"They looked great all week in practice," Laviolette said of the power play unit.

It obviously carried over to the game. Center Ryan Johansen drew assists on all three goals, drawing defenders toward him before distributing the puck to the point for Subban and Josi to bomb away.

While the guys who the Predators expect to score mostly did so, the guy they need to stop shots did so when it mattered most. After allowing two goals on Chicago's first three shots, Pekka Rinne stopped the last 21 he faced, including four in the final 1:46 when the Blackhawks had a 6-on-4 advantage with an empty net after Subban was called for interference.

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 Nashville Predators players celebrate after a win against the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

"I thought we had some dangerous looks that didn't develop," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said of the last power play.

Marcus Kruger and Niklas Hjalmarsson, who returned to the lineup after sitting out Wednesday night's season-opening 5-2 loss to St. Louis because of a suspension, potted goals for the Blackhawks. Crawford (0-2-0) came up with 24 saves.

While Johansen was the first star and Josi the second, it was Subban's debut in Nashville that colored the entire evening. He made a grand entrance at the arena, walking through a line of fans about two hours prior to faceoff clad in a royal blue suit and gold pants.

And after the game, when Subban followed Johansen and Josi into a huge media scrum that featured multiple members from Montreal, he wore a chain around his neck, given to the player the team felt worked the hardest during the match.

"My job is not to make it easy on them," Subban said. "Being an offensive player who likes time and space, I know how hard it is when someone is in your face."

NOTES: Chicago scratched D Michal Roszival, D Trevor van Riemsdyk and C Dennis Rasmussen. Van Riemsdyk was minus one in the opener against St. Louis and took two minors, with the Blues scoring on both. ... Nashville scratched D Yannick Weber and C Cody Bass. ... Blackhawks RW Marian Hossa needs just one goal to reach 500 in his career and nine assists to notch 600 for his career, which would make him the 32nd player in NHL history to accomplish that feat. ... With Weber, D Roman Josi and LW Kevin Fiala on the roster, the Predators are only the second team in league history with three Swiss-born players on their roster.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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