NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Jeffrey Hamilton scored a career-high three goals, including the winner in overtime, as the streaking Chicago Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 on Saturday night.

The Blackhawks are 3-0 under new coach Denis Savard, who replaced the fired Trent Yawney on Monday. Chicago is also perfect in three games against Nashville this season.

Hamilton provided the difference when he skated in low in the slot and one-timed a pass from Patrick Sharp to the right of Nashville goalie Chris Mason 59 seconds into the extra session.

Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen had a goal and assist each, and Shea Weber also scored for the Predators.

Tony Salmelainen had the only Blackhawks goal not scored by Hamilton.

Hamilton scored unassisted 30 seconds into the game when he sent a shot from the right corner along the goal line and between Mason’s pads and the goal post.

Hartnell answered on the power play at 18:12 to tie it 1-1 when he scored from low in the slot.

Salmelainen gave Chicago a 2-1 lead at 10:50 of the second period. He skated low through the left side of the slot and shot the puck into the right side of the net below Mason’s glove.

The Predators outshot Chicago 15-7 in the second period, with Weber and Timonen scoring goals 23 seconds apart.

Weber scored from above the right circle on a one-timer that went past Nikolai Khabibulin on his glove side at 13:52.

Timonen found the net at 14:15, scoring through traffic low in the slot.

Hamilton tied it with 34 seconds left in regulation, shooting from the left side of the crease over Mason as he was outstretched on the ice.

Notes: Salmelainen has a goal in three straight games and has a four-game point streak (three goals, one assist). With the goals by Weber and Timonen, Nashville’s defensemen have scored 19 goals this season. … Khabibulin is 3-3 since returning from a broken finger.

AP-ES-12-02-06 2254EST


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