NASHVILLE — Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, and the Chicago Blackhawks pounded the Nashville Predators 7-2 on Saturday night for their third straight victory.
Robin Lehner made 39 saves for Chicago, and Alex Nylander had two goals in the third period. Erik Gustafsson, Dominik Kubalik, Brent Seabrook and David Kampf also scored.
The Blackhawks improved to 5-1-1 in their last seven games. It was a markedly different performance than their first meeting with Nashville this season, a dominant 3-0 win for the Predators on Oct. 29.
Nashville got two goals from defenceman Roman Josi in its fourth consecutive loss. Pekka Rinne allowed four goals in 14 shots before he was replaced by Juuse Saros.
Kane’s third-period goal extended his goal-scoring streak to five games and his point streak to eight.
The Blackhawks grabbed control with two in the first and second periods.
Gustafsson beat Rinne with a wrist shot through traffic 6:33 into the first. After Nashville defenceman Matt Irwin turned the puck over in the right corner, Kirby Dach found Kubalik all alone in front for his fifth goal with 1:56 left in the opening period.
Chicago kept the pressure on in the second. Seabrook handcuffed Rinne with a backhand from the high slot at 1:51, and Kampf chased Rinne with a slap shot from the slot at 11:39 after a nifty passing sequence.
It was the second time in just over a week that Rinne was yanked from the net. In Nashville’s Nov. 7 blowout loss at Colorado, Rinne was pulled in the second after allowing four goals on 23 shots.
Josi ended Lehner’s shutout bid 3:40 into the third when he knocked in the rebound of a Matt Duchene shot.
Chicago is 7-1-3 when scoring first this season. … With an assist on Kane’s goal, Chicago RW Alex DeBrincat extended his assist streak to three games. … Kane has 58 points in 63 career regular-season games against Nashville.
Blackhawks: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday.
Predators: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.
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Jim Diamond, The Associated Press