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CHICAGO (AP) — Cam Ward gave the Chicago Blackhawks 
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CHICAGO (AP) — Cam Ward gave the Chicago Blackhawks exactly what they needed in the wake of another concussion for Corey Crawford.He went back to work.Ward made 30 saves Tuesday night Carolina Hurricanes T-Shirts Authentic , leading the Blackhawks to a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators.“I thought our guys competed, worked hard all 60 minutes,” Ward said. “Defensively, we didn’t give them a whole lot. It’s a credit to the guys for the way that they played. We kept it much more simple and executed.”Defensemen Gustav Forsling and Erik Gustafsson scored for last-place Chicago, which had dropped 10 of 11. Patrick Kane picked up an assist on Gustafsson’s tiebreaking goal in the second period, giving him at least one point in seven of his last eight games.Ward was terrific in the Blackhawks’ first game since Crawford was placed on injured reserve after sustaining a concussion for the second straight season. The two-time All-Star got hurt in the first period of Sunday’s 7-3 loss to San Jose when the back of his head struck the right post during a scary goalmouth pileup.“We want to continue to grow as a team with him on our minds, play for one another,” Ward said. “He’s not going to be forgotten. And I’m not Crawford out there. I’m just going to try to give this team a chance to win every time I get the opportunity.”Kevin Fiala scored for the Predators, who dropped to 0-6-2 in their last eight road games. Pekka Rinne had 34 stops.“We came out in the third and tried to press and win it and get it done, but we’re in position right now on the road, I think you need to play a consistent 60 minutes,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “Some of it was OK tonight and some of it was not.”Coming off a 4-3 overtime loss at Ottawa on Monday night, Nashville jumped in front late in the first period. Kane turned the puck over near the blue line and Fiala beat Ward with a well-placed wrist shot on the goaltender’s stick side.Chicago bounced back nicely in the second Carolina Hurricanes Hoodies Authentic , outshooting Nashville 16-7 in one of its best periods in a while. Rinne made solid stops on Dominik Kahun, David Kampf and Kane before the Blackhawks went ahead to stay with a pair of goals 1:54 apart.“They had a ton of chances and Pekks stood on his head for a lot of that (second) period,” Predators defenseman Roman Josi said. “It seemed like we just couldn’t get anything going. It’s disappointing.”Forsling tied it at 1 with a shot off the left post at 15:22. It was the second goal of the season for Forsling, who returned to the lineup after missing six games with a shoulder injury.After Predators forward Rocco Grimaldi was sent off for tripping Brent Seabrook, Gustafsson beat Rinne with a long slap shot for his seventh goal at 17:16. It was just the 13th power-play goal for the league’s worst team with the man advantage.Gustafsson’s shot went off Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis.“I’m just trying to put the puck to the net,” Gustafsson said. “I don’t know if it went off their D or something like that. I’m just trying to shoot it. Nice to see it go in.”The Blackhawks lost forward Marcus Kruger with 3:29 left in the period when he got hit in the face by an inadvertent elbow from Nashville’s Ryan Hartman. Coach Jeremy Colliton said Kruger sustained a concussion and will not travel on the team’s upcoming road trip.NOTES: Nashville dropped to 17-2-0 this season when it scores the first goal. … Blackhawks C Artem Anisimov also returned to the lineup after being activated from IR. He had been sidelined by a concussion. … Rinne made his NHL debut and got his first career victory on Dec. 15, 2005, against Chicago. … Blackhawks D Henri Jokiharju will play for Finland in the upcoming world junior championship. The competition runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Vancouver, British Columbia. … Blackhawks F Alex DeBrincat celebrated his 21st birthday.UP NEXTPredators: Visit Philadelphia on Thursday night.Blackhawks: Visit Dallas on Thursday night. PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jack Johnson has spent nearly half his life tangling with Evgeni Malkin in front of the net in rinks all over the world. Bruising affairs that often left one or the other — and occasionally both — skating away in aggravation.The truce finally came this summer when Johnson joined Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins after signing a five-year, $16.25 million deal. The move allowed Johnson to breathe a sigh of relief on many levels, not the least of which was the knowledge the 31-year-old defenseman wouldn’t have to crash into Malkin multiple times a year.When Johnson approached Malkin as training camp began, he discovered the feeling was mutual.“We gave each other a half hug and said ‘Alright, no more fighting Carolina Hurricanes Hats Authentic , now we finally get to play with each other,'” Johnson said with a laugh on Wednesday as the Penguins prepared for their opener against Stanley Cup champion Washington on Thursday. “I said ‘Don’t worry, I’ll just pass you the puck.'”Don’t get Johnson wrong. He understands his job responsibilities extend far beyond finding a teammate on Pittsburgh’s star-laden roster streaking up the ice. The Penguins allowed the most goals of any playoff team last season, and their bid to win a third consecutive title ended in the second round of the playoffs against the Capitals.Johnson is well aware his top priority is to shore things up in front of the Pittsburgh goal before jumping in on the fun at the other end of the ice. He also is intent on not merely being a tag along for longtime friend Sidney Crosby — a former classmate at Shattuck-St. Mary’s boarding school in Minnesota — and company as the Penguins pursue their fourth Cup in a decade.“I want to be a contributor, I definitely don’t want to be a passenger,” Johnson said. “That’s definitely the biggest thing that’s in my head. I want to help these guys win another one.”The Penguins believe Johnson can do it in multiple ways. Though he has never been labeled a “defensive” defenseman, at 6-foot-1 and 227 pounds, he’s capable of clearing goaltender Matt Murray’s line of vision. Yet that’s not all he can do. While he’s never scored more than 42 points in a season or been named to the All-Star team during his 11-year career, he’s developed a reputation as a pro’s pro who can play all 200 feet.“I think he’s a pretty complete player,” Penguins star defenseman Kris Letang said. “He’s got good speed, good size and he doesn’t get enough credit for his skill. He’s really skilled guy. He sees the ice really well.”The beauty of Johnson’s new gig is that he might not have to. Given the talent in front of him, he know there’s going to be plenty of chances to pick up a cheap assist by flipping the puck 20 feet to Crosby, Malkin or some other guy in black and gold and let them do the rest of the work.“That’s one of the exciting things and fun things about playing with guys of this caliber Custom Carolina Hurricanes Jerseys ,” Johnson said. “I’m sure there’ll be a point here or there I may get where I pretty much had nothing to do with play.”Johnson’s optimism plays in stark contrast to the end of his seven-year run in Columbus, when he asked for a trade in January then watched from the press box as a healthy scratch as the Blue Jackets lost to Washington in the opening round of the playoffs.That’s all behind him now. And there are worse places than Pittsburgh to kick start your career. The proof is a few stalls down in the Penguins dressing room. Justin Schultz arrived in Pittsburgh in 2016 after three-plus underwhelming seasons in Edmonton and played a vital role on consecutive Cup winners. Jamie Oleksiak flourished after the Stars sent him to the Penguins last December.“It’s a great place to play,” defenseman Brian Dumoulin said. “Obviously playing in the playoffs and winning helps so I think guys get some confidence coming here and it gets their game back on track.”Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan doesn’t expect Johnson’s transition to be seamless but also knows there’s no rush. The Penguins believe they have solid depth at the blue line. Johnson isn’t being called upon to be some sort of savior or give his game some sort of radical makeover to fit in.“I don’t think they’re trying to reinvent me in any way,” Johnson said. “They just ask me to be myself, come here and do what I do best.”He’s well aware the length of his contract raised some eyebrows. But he’s all in. His family bought a house not too far from the team’s training facility. He happily joined Crosby and others in some of the formally informal skates before training camp officially started. After more than a half decade clashing with Crosby, Malkin and company, he prefers his current view.“Pittsburgh was tough to play against, they have the championships to prove it,” he said. It’s nice to play with these guys instead of against him.”

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