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Nashville Predators 3, St. Louis Blues 1: The Defense Becomes the Offense

The Preds remain the hottest team in the playoffs and the Blues, well, they tried.

St Louis Blues v Nashville Predators - Game Three Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

After suffering their first loss in the 2016-17 playoffs, how would the Preds respond back on their home ice?

The first period began how you would expect: shots, hits, and speed. Victor Arvidsson just misses a great opportunity to put the Preds ahead. A phantom tripping call on Matt Irwin gave the Blues their first power play opportunity, but thanks to some good penalty killing the Preds come out of it unscathed. Nashville broke through on a Ryan Ellis slap shot, giving Nashville a 1-0 lead and getting to Jake Allen early.

Just 2:29 into the second period Cody McLeod, yes that Cody McLeod, put the Preds up 2-0. That is what happens when you crash the net. After some battling and, let’s face it, a very dirty mauling by Ryan Reeves on Matt Irwin, the tempo is picking back up. Alexander Steen redirects an Alex Pietrangelo shot past an out of position Pekka Rinne to get the Blues on the board. It was a very weak redirect and just barely trickled in.

The Blues start the third period with just a bit of desperation. This crowd is feeling it and they’re getting louder trying to get the Preds back in it. Roman Josi comes out of nowhere and blasts one past Allen and it’s 3-1 Preds and I need ear plugs. In what even Patrick Roy would call a bold move, Mike Yeo pulls Allen with 4:09 left. No dice for the Blues and Nashville now has a 2-1 series lead.

Random Observations

  • That “tripping” penalty was blatantly horrible. These refs should be fined or suspended for that. I didn’t know it was possible to trip someone without touching them
  • How great is Ryan Ellis? I mean, seriously?
  • Roman Josi almost killed a guy. He hammered Perron then his skate blade gave him the closest shave of his life. Somebody get this man an endorsement deal with Gilette
  • Ryan Reeves just tackled Matt Irwin, laid on top of him, threw some slaps and some punches and the refs didn’t even notice
  • The Preds have dominated the face-off circle in the first period 67% to 33%
  • Nashville defensemen have scored a point on 10 of the las 11 Preds goals
  • Harry Z has been flying all over the place. He’s actually played fairly well today
  • Holy smokes Roman Josi. The Preds needed that goal. The Blues were playing off their desperation and Josi with the dagger there
  • Bridgestone Arena is a magical place during playoff time

OTF’s Super Duper Playoff Stars of the Game

  1. Ryan Ellis - He’s riding a six-game point streak and he’s probably the Preds hottest player right now, aside from Rinne.
  2. Pekka Rinne - a .957 save percentage tonight and he has been the franchise savior this post season. He made some huge saves tonight.
  3. Roman Josi - He steps up when his team needed him most. He has been tremendous in the playoffs.

Tweets of the Night

Game Extras

Game Stats

HockeyStats

Natural Stat Trick

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