After building some optimism by winning three straight games on the road, the Nashville Predators came into last night's game against St. Louis hoping to keep the good times rolling, but the top team in the NHL took charge early and never let go, skating out of town with a 4-1 win. Thousands of Blues fans were in attendance throughout Bridgestone Arena, making their presence felt much like Chicago Blackhawks fans have in recent years.
St. Louis took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission on two Patrik Berglund goals, and made it 3-0 by the midway point of the second after Vladimir Tarasenko converted a fluky opportunity on a puck that bounced off the glass behind the Nashville net. Eric Nystrom scored the lone Predators goal late in the second period, but an Alexander Steen score in the third sealed Nashville's fate.
This was the Preds' fifth straight loss on home ice - but on the bright side, they're heading out for a 4-game road trip that begins Tuesday at Edmonton!
Some random observations:
- Who knew the Blues fan base could travel in such numbers? I would have thought that parole restrictions would keep that sort of thing in check.
- That was certainly not Pekka Rinne's best outing, as both of the first two goals against probably should have been stopped, particularly the second one which just plain beat him. St. Louis sure does counter well when a turnover pops up, however.
- At the other end of the ice, Ryan Miller looked like he stopped at the equipment store on his way to the rink, given the plain white mask he's using these days since coming over to the Blues in trade. Given his 6-0-1 record in St. Louis, maybe he'll stick with it.
- I thought for sure Craig Smith was getting to get a goal, he had some jump in his step all night long and looked like the lone Predator who would fit into the Blues' forward lines.
- My daughter now has her "most hated team" in St. Louis, which is a nice bit of tradition because they're my original "hate" team from over 30 years ago. Sunrise, sunset.
Roll the video highlights...