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Nashville Predators 2, St. Louis Blues 1: Back to Back

Rinne wins Goalie Duel II in St. Louis, Preds cure themselves of holiday blues.

NHL: Nashville Predators at St. Louis Blues Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

The Predators entered tonight needing a win for two reasons: to end their losing streak and to jump back into first place in the Central Division. They achieved that goal with a 2-1 victory in St. Louis.

The Blues got off to a quick start, with four shots on goal in the first 60 seconds, including one that, fortunately for the Preds, ricocheted off the iron. The Predators got an early breakaway, but Kyle Turris sent the shot wide. A minute or so later, Roman Josi was interfered with and Scottie Upshall was sent to the box.

The Predators did not score, but they were able to get a few shots to reach Jake Allen, including one that forced Allen to make an extremely talented save. The Blues controlled possession for the next few minutes, and their time in the offensive zone was extended when Matt Irwin was unable to play a pass made to him by Pontus Aberg.

After a few minutes of normal hockey (save for a Scott Hartnell v. Robert Bortuzzo fight), the beloved captain Roman Josi sent a nice shot towards the net that Craig Smith tipped in to give the Predators a 1-0 lead. Both teams traded chances for the rest of the period, but they entered the locker rooms with the Predators holding a one goal lead.

The Blues got themselves on the power play early in the second, but they were unable to do anything with it. The Predators got a power play a few minutes after, but were also unable to score. Pekka Rinne made some nice saves, and the Predators put some more shots on net, but they had still been mostly shut down by Jake Allen, up until Calle Jarnkrok extended the Predators lead to 2 with a slapshot goal at 3:11 in the second period.

The third period started at 2-0, and less than a minute in there was a stoppage of play due to one of the referees getting tangled up with a Blues player. The Blues followed that up with a few minutes of great chances, but Rinne was there to stop all of them. The Predators got a power play with 16:00 left in the 3rd after Brayden Schenn was whistled for interference, but they were unable to extend their lead to three during the man advantage.

They got another chance with just over 11:30 remaining, on a double minor penalty for the Blues. Unfortunately for the Predators, the Blues had just about as many chances as the Preds did. Fortunately for Nashville, the Blues shots didn’t go in. That is, they didn’t go in until Vladimir Sobotka scored off of an Alexei Emelin turnover in the defensive zone with 6:23 remaining in regulation.

The Predators kept the Blues from getting any real scoring chances for the next 5 minutes, until the Blues got a breakaway with their extra attacker. That was the last good chance St. Louis would get, as Nashville closed out to leave Scottrade Center with a victory for the second straight time this season.

Random Observations

  • These lines are weird, y’all. But I won’t complain if it works.
  • Pekka looking better already
  • Early power play, didn’t think we were able to get one of those without being shorthanded
  • Oh my goodness what a shot by Johansen, but also what a save by Allen
  • Good to see some shots put on net during that power play, now let’s score a goal
  • Blues had the puck in the OZ for way to long there. This team still has some first period problems to iron out
  • I love Scotty Hartnell
  • Glad to see the real Pekka Rinne is back
  • Forsberg blew that 2-on-0. Really messed up that chance
  • “Knocks his man to the turf” I know it’s bowl season, but c’mon Willy
  • Well, that period could’ve gone better, but it also could’ve gone worse
  • Penalty = kilt
  • Anyone want to explain why Subban doesn’t have a line in the Adidas commercial?
  • This game could be like 4-0 now. Great game by Jake Allen, loving the goalie battle
  • There’s that wonderful JaFA line
  • This is very reminiscent of a previous game in St. Louis
  • 20 more minutes y’all
  • Rinne is playing out of his mind
  • Let’s just ride this four-minute power play into the sunset (and maybe get a goal)
  • Well, guess I can’t title this recap “deja vu” anymore
  • Don’t let that goal distract you from the fact that Rinne still has a .966 SV% tonight
  • Good defense against the extra attacker so far knocks on wood
  • This is awkward. Unfortunate one for Fil there, but shouldn’t be in the box for too long
  • This winning stuff feels good

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Night

  1. Pekka Rinne - 29 saves on 30 shots. The Finnish freak continues to own Scottrade Center, allowing one goal to the Blues this year on 64 shots
  2. Calle Jarnkrok - Great goal from an angle that definitely wasn’t easy to score from
  3. Craig Smith - He drank his Craignog before the game and got the good guys on the board early

Tweets of the Night

I am not happy that “Craignog” is a thing

You can’t unsee this.

Game Video