NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Paul Kariya had a goal and an assist and Tomas Vokoun made a season-high 38 saves to help the Nashville Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 on Tuesday night for their season-opening eighth straight victory.

Martin Erat and David Legwand also each had a goal and an assist, Steve Sullivan and Yanic Perreault added goals, and Scott Hartnell had three assists for the Predators in the game that included five fights between the division rivals.

Chicago outshot Nashville 41-22, but was 1-for-13 on the power play.

The Predators took control early, scoring three goals in the first period. Erat started things with a slap shot from the left circle that beat goalie Nikolai Khabibulin to the far side. Perreault scored his fourth of the season on a power play with 6:11 remaining, and Kariya scored off a give-and-go with Legwand 1:15 later.

Chicago cut it to 3-2 on goals by Jim Dowd and Matthew Barnaby in the second period, but Legwand made it 4-2 when he banked a shot of the post.

Sullivan gave the Predators a 5-2 lead with a breakaway, short-handed goal in the third period before Jim Vandermeer scored a late power-play goal for Chicago.

With Ottawa’s 3-2 loss to Carolina on Monday night, the Predators are the lone unbeaten team in the NHL.

Chicago, coming off a 4-2 win over Minnesota on Sunday, has yet to win consecutive games this season.

Notes: The Predators played the 500th game in franchise history. It was the 499th game for coach Barry Trotz, who missed a game in his first season with the team to attend a funeral. … Nashville assistant captain Scott Walker did not play because of an abdominal strain. … Legwand picked up his 200th career point in the first period, and Kariya was credited with his 400th assist in the second period … Chicago’s Trent Yawney coached his first game since a five-day leave of absence due to the death of his father-in-law.

AP-ES-10-25-05 2307EDT


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