The Predators welcomed division rival St. Louis Blues to Nashville Thursday night, seeking to extend their winning streak to three. However, the Blues were just as hungry (if not more) than the Predators, seeking to finally take the almighty Predators down for this first time this season. Here are the highlights from Thursday night’s game in Smashville:
- Although Patric Hornqvist and Brian McGrattan are still feeling the effects of their upper-body injuries, both players are expected to play on Saturday against the San Jose Sharks. Jack Hillen and rookie Ryan Ellis were the two scratches for the night.
- It was clear from the get-go that the St. Louis Blues were looking for a win in Nashville, controlling the puck for the majority of the 1st period. The Blues wasted no time gaining the lead at 4:13 with a wrist shot past Pekka from Chris Stewart, his 13th goal of the season. The Predators would trail the Blues into the second period 1-0.
- Barry Trotz must have given the team an “intermission intervention”, for the second period looked much better for the Predators than the first period did. Rookie Roman Josi found the back of the net at 2:53, tying the game 1-1 for this third goal of the season. Roman was assisted by Brandon Yip (2) and Matt Halischuk (9).
- Colin Wilson would give the Predators the lead at 12:52 with a backhanded goal, his 13th goal of the season. Wilson was assisted by Jordin Tootoo (20) and Nick Spaling (9).
- The Predators did not have long to celebrate, for at 13:26 saw a goal from St. Louis’s Vladimir Sobotka, his 4th goal of the season. The two Central Division rivals would end the second period tied at 2.
- The third period resulted in no goals from either team, thus tossing the game into overtime. After five minutes, neither team was able to produce a goal (plenty of close calls, though), sending the game into a shootout. Here is the shootout play-by-play:
- ST. LOUIS – T.J. Oshie – GOAL
- NASHVILLE – Colin Wilson – SAVE
- ST. LOUIS – Andy McDonald – GOAL
- NASHVILLE – Martin Erat – MISS
- The St. Louis Blues managed to steal the win in the shootout over the Predators, their first win of the season against Nashville. Nashville was able to out-shoot the Blues 27 to 24, but Jaroslav Halak was able to block more goals than Pekka Rinne.
- Neither team was able to use their powerplays successfully, although there was only one amongst both teams. Hal Gill was sent to the box at 9:26 in the second period for delaying the game.
The Blues left Nashville with the two points, but Nashville was able to get away with one point, which is much better than losing in regulation. It was clear that the Predators did not have their heads in the game – either they assumed a win against the Blues or they were just completely out of it – and the St. Louis Blues took complete advantage of the situation at hand.
The Predators continue the home stretch against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, who are 32-21-6 on the season and are 2nd in the Pacific Conference.