The Blackhawks finished only two points back of Nashville in the Central Division, and they grabbed home-ice advantage back despite benching Corey Crawford after the first period. Scott Darling stopped every subsequent shot, making 42 saves in his postseason debut as Nashville took a franchise-record 54 shots.
Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist, and Niklas Hjalmarsson, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews each scored for Chicago. Patrick Kane also had two assists in his return after missing 21 games with a broken collarbone.
Colin Wilson scored twice and Viktor Stalberg had a goal, all in the first period for the Predators.
Game 2 is Friday night in Nashville.