The Nashville Predators didn't earn two points tonight, but they'll take 'em.
The Predators were outshot 40-20 by the resurgent Blues, but stellar goaltending carried the Predators to a shootout, where David Legwand scored the game-winner in the third round to seal the deal.
"One of our goals is to get forty shots a game and we peppered the net," Blues center T.J. Oshie said. "It's tough when you get that many shots on the goaltender and he wins the game for the other team."
Nashville has now won five straight with wins coming against some of the top teams in the Western Conference like Detroit and St. Louis.
"It really was a test to see where we were, and our team, because I don't think you're going to come across, especially the last two games, two better teams in the way they're playing right now," head coach Barry Trotz said after the game. "To get the points against them was huge, and we found a way."
The first two periods were a bit of a snooze fest, with the Blues controlling the play early. Nashville was especially outplayed in the first period, only registering two shots on net.
"I think we could've played better," defenseman Shea Weber said. "We weren't playing heavy enough on the puck. We were turning it over too easy and they were breaking out of their end too easy."
The only exciting moment came with just over a minute left in the second period. After a flurry of chances in front of the net, the refs went to video review to see if the Blues had tallied their first goal of the game. But replays showed Jack Hillen kept the final shot out with his stick.
"I think it was pretty huge, just because of the fact that we had a little push on," Trotz said about the play.
Nashville finally broke through coming off of its fourth penalty kill of the game. Mike Fisher held the puck at the blueline and made a cross-ice pass to a breaking Shea Weber. But instead of shooting, Weber made a pass back across the slot to Martin Erat who tipped the puck past Jaroslav Halak.
"It was after a penalty kill and I knew they were gonna be tired," Erat said. "I just tried to jump into the play and I saw the forward away from me and I just tried to go to the net and he made a great pass across and I just put it in the empty net."
It was the threat of Weber's shot that made the play possible. After a two goal game in his previous outing, Halak expected Weber to shoot and came out of his net to make a better play on the puck. But Weber saw Erat breaking to the net and for once, the extra pass payed off.
"I think a lot of goalies, if a guy's got the puck coming down almost at the hashmarks they're gonna be thinking 'shot,'" Weber said. "Marty did a great job of getting to an open area and I was able to get it over to him."
But a series of untimely line changes would ultimately deny Nashville the regulation win. The Predators took a too many men on the ice penalty to give St. Louis its fifth power play opportunity of the night. And 42 seconds later, a bad change led to a 2-on-0 chance which T.J. Oshie slid past Pekka Rinne.
"On a line change, the next line's up, you watch your guy come to the bench. Well the other guy jumped on, but his guy was in the corner with the puck - he wasn't paying attention," Trotz said. "And that put us at a disadvantage and then we had a bad line change on the PK. From my standpoint, I wasn't too happy after the game. We got the two points tonight, but there's a very good chance that we end up with no points."
And after an entertaining overtime, David Legwand scored the only goal of the shootout, giving Nashville the win. But Barry Trotz didn't see it.
"I didn't really look at it; I don't watch the shootout. I'm looking up at the stands. It's just a pet peeve of mine. I turn my back on what's happening and the crowd will let me know what's going on."