Nashville Predators stun St. Louis with late comeback to win, 3-2

Two goals less than a minute apart late in the 3rd period lifted the Nashville Predators to their sixth straight win, and at the same time dealt a serious blow to the Blues' fading playoff hopes. The win lifts the Preds to 89 points, 8 ahead of 9th place Calgary which lost this afternoon to Minnesota.

Follow after the jump for reaction, the advanced even-strength stats, and check the sidebar widget for video highlights (available around 8:15 p.m. Central).

I'll be relatively brief here, and do my recap bullet-point style:

  • Pekka Rinne, playing on little rest after last night's 1-0 overtime win against Columbus, was outstanding once again, stopping 23 of 25 St. Louis shots. His record now stands at 28-13-4.
  • The late comeback was particularly impressive because the game essentially took on a playoff style of play. There was a great deal of physical contact away from the puck that was let go by the officials, which tends to favor the team with the lead.
  • Dustin Boyd continues to build his Nashville fan base. He opened the scoring in the 2nd period with his first Predator goal, coming off a nice assist by Jordin Tootoo. Boyd was a solid defensive presence all game long (including one especially good play breaking up a rush by Paul Kariya), and he closed the scoring on a delayed penalty call, taking a center pass from Martin Erat and firing the puck home with just 2:46 left in the 3rd.
  • Joel Ward left the game in the 2nd period and did not return, so let's keep an eye out to see if he practices tomorrow.
  • Steve Sullivan and Patric Hornqvist worked incredibly hard to create the tying goal, circling the zone and constantly firing the puck on net until Hornqvist was able to sweep a rebound around Mason for the score.
  • Chris Mason, the former Pred, was outstanding as usual against his old mates. His 36 saves kept the Blues in this one.

The Preds host the Dallas Stars (Tuesday), Phoenix Coyotes (Thursday) and Detroit Red Wings (Saturday) this week. For discounted tickets to these, or any other Nashville Predators home game, take advantage of this special offer for OtF readers.

The line of Sullivan-Goc-Hornqvist really powered the Preds this afternoon, dominating the even-strength play.

 Even Strength Individual Totals Team Totals While Player Is On Ice
 Player Pos EV TOI Shots Shts Blkd Missed Shts Blocks SOG For SOG Ag SOG +/- Tot SF Tot SA Corsi
 David Legwand C 15:49 3 0 0 1 5 7 -2 11 16 -5
 Dustin Boyd C 15:30 2 0 0 1 8 3 5 14 7 7
 Colin Wilson C 15:20 1 1 0 0 7 8 -1 10 16 -6
 Martin Erat R 13:43 4 0 0 0 10 5 5 15 9 6
 Cal O'Reilly C 13:28 0 0 1 0 10 6 4 14 10 4
 Steve Sullivan L 13:02 3 2 0 0 15 4 11 24 7 17
 Patric Hornqvist R 12:38 5 1 3 0 12 4 8 22 7 15
 Marcel Goc C 12:32 2 2 2 0 10 4 6 17 7 10
 J P Dumont R 11:10 2 0 0 0 4 4 0 10 7 3
 Jerred Smithson R 11:03 1 0 0 2 6 4 2 6 11 -5
 Jordin Tootoo R 9:41 0 0 0 0 4 4 0 4 8 -4
 Joel Ward R 5:09 2 0 0 0 4 1 3 4 3 1
 Dan Hamhuis D 19:11 1 1 1 2 11 4 7 22 13 9
 Shea Weber D 18:04 1 2 0 1 12 6 6 19 11 8
 Ryan Suter D 17:51 1 1 0 1 14 6 8 21 10 11
 Francis Bouillon D 17:48 2 1 0 1 10 8 2 15 14 1
 Kevin Klein D 13:43 1 0 0 0 9 7 2 13 13 0
 Cody Franson D 13:17 1 0 1 0 8 5 3 12 11 1
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