CHICAGO (AP) _ Rob Valicevic scored three times in a four-goal, first period for Nashville to record the Predators’ first-ever hat trick and lead them to a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
Randy Robitaille also scored in the first period to help Nashville snap a five-game losing streak.
Sylvain Cote and Tony Amonte each scored power-play goals for the Blackhawks, whose home winless streak reached nine games (0-6-3). Chicago is the only team that hasn’t won at home this season.
Valicevic, a 28-year-old forward, had just one goal in 13 previous games with the Predators this season. He had five goals and two assists in 32 career games.
Valicevic didn’t play in the NHL until last season, when he skated in 19 contests with the then first-year Predators.
But he converted on this first three shots as the Predators outworked the Blackhawks in the first period and chased starting Chicago goaltender Jocelyn Thibault.
Two of Valicevic’s goals came on deflections. After a Chicago turnover, Robitaille opened the scoring just 25 seconds into the game from the left circle.
Following a failed Blackhawks clearing attempt, Valicevic swept in his first goal from almost the same spot at 6:17. His deflection of Dan Keczmer’s shot from the top of the slot at 9:44 made it 3-0 and sent Thibault to the bench.
Thibault was replaced by Steve Passmore and Cote made it 3-1 with a power-play goal with 4:05 left in the period. But 1:34 later, Valicevic redirected Drake Berehowsky’s shot behind Passmore.
After a scoreless second period, Amonte converted a power-play goal with 4:16 remaining in the third period to complete the scoring.