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'Hawks Fly Over Predators


Mark Fitzpatrick's great goaltending helped the Chicago Blackhawks end a 10-game winless streak Tuesday night.

Fitzpatrick made 37 saves and Tony Amonte scored his league-leading 13th goal as the Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 2-1.

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"He's been extremely strong all year long and he had a great performance tonight," Chicago coach Dirk Graham said. "I think the guys have been feeling a lot of pressure, obviously. They were pressing."

The Blackhawks were 0-8-2 in their previous 10 games and had been outscored 43-17 in that span. The last team Chicago beat was Nashville, on Oct. 24 at the United Center.

"It's very vital that we all pull together," Fitzpatrick said. "It isn't going to be one or two guys pulling us out of this right now. It's certainly going to be 20-some odd players."

Amonte scored 6:16 into the third period to make it 2-0. He put a short-handed wrist shot through goaltender Mike Dunham's legs on a breakaway.

Royer and Lambert
Remi Royer of the Blackhawks tries to take down Nashville's Denny Lambert. (AP)

Nashville's Cliff Ronning made it 2-1 moments later with his 200th career goal and Nashville's first power-play goal in six games.

Fitzpatrick then preserved the victory by stopping Ronning and Scott Walker in the closing moments.

Dunham, who made 30 saves, said Fitzpatrick "kept them in the game tonight."

"In the first period, we could have had three or four goals there. That's what they needed. They hadn't won in a while," Dunham said.

Dave Manson, acquired by Chicago on Monday in a trade with Montreal, was impressed with Fitzpatrick's performance.

"Mark played well tonight," Manson said. "He played really hard, made some key stops for us, and kept us in tere."

Chicago's Alexei Zhamnov scored the only goal of the first period, a soft wrist shot on the power play that went through Dunham's legs.

Nashville played its first home game this month after going 3-3 in its season-long, six-game road trip. The expansion Predators are 6-9-1 overall, but but are winless in four games against Central Division foes.

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