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Nashville Predators 1, St. Louis Blues 2: It’s Never Easy

The Blues force a Game Six on Sunday in Nashville.

Nashville Predators v St Louis Blues - Game Five Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Predators missed out on a golden opportunity tonight, losing 2-1 to the Blues in Game Five. Now they have to regroup and try to end the series at home on Sunday.

To begin, it felt like the Blues were going to score constantly in the first period. They didn’t monopolize puck possession or anything, but they had a lot of chances. That and the Preds didn’t get much going. The Blues finished the period on the power play, including a long stretch with a two-man advantage, after Mattias Ekholm high sticked Vladimir Sobotka.

Ekholm’s double minor carried over into the 2nd period, and the Preds held... for a little while. The Blues scored the first goal of the game a little more than five minutes into the period when Dimitrij Jaskin pounced on a rebound that Rinne couldn’t handle. And the pressure was on.

But after weathering a bit of a storm and then killing a penalty, the Preds drew the rare simultaneous penalty call, getting a 5-on-3 power play. They capitalized. James Neal’s power play goal tied the game at 13:50 of the period. It wasn’t as sneaky and unpredictable as his last goal. Just a simple roof-job right in front.

The problem is that the Blues kept coming. Just as the 3rd period got going, Jaden Schwartz scored on a rebound in front. It was 2-1 with a little more than 19 minutes left in the game. A shot from the point came off Rinne’s pad right in front, but this time, there were no defenders ready to clear.

From there? The Preds really couldn’t generate anything. Filip Forsberg had the best chance, breaking in nearly untouched on Allen, but he was stopped. A late ditch effort with Rinne pulled went for nothing and the game ended 2-1.

Bottom line: the Preds just didn’t have it tonight. Not enough pressure in the offensive zone, too many defensive mistakes, and some great goaltending by Jake Allen.

Random Observations

  • Saaaaaame lineups for tonight. No need to change anything I suppose.
  • Alex Steen is out for the Blues, though. That’s significant.
  • Early storm to weather for the Preds. Blues are definitely not done in this series.
  • 10 minutes into this one, not many great chances. Although Tarasenko nearly just scored. Rinne made a stop and then Ekholm cleared the puck out of the blue ice.
  • Austin Watson: 6 hits in the 1st period.
  • Oh my god. 5-on-3 power play for the Blues, plus Ekholm has a double minor. Huge moment here.
  • And the Preds hold them scoreless. Man, that’s big. Plus they get a power play afterwards (didn’t do much).
  • Some angriness from the Blues fans about no penalty call on Schwartz. Then the very next play, the Blues score. Dimitrij Jaskin gets a rebound in front of Rinne and it’s 1-0.
  • Just need to match the pace and go get it back.
  • Now the Blues on the power play. It would be unwise to let them score here.
  • 5-on-3 for the Preds coming up after the Blues commit simultaneous penalties. They came on a shorthanded chance started by Arvidsson, who else.
  • JAMES NEAL. YESSIR. Tie game.
  • Such a fantastic pass from Subban to find Neal down low. Vision is everything.
  • The 3rd period begins and... oh no.
  • Schwartz scores to make it 2-1. Not good.
  • Love this response after the Blues goal. Tons of pressure and a lot of quality chances. Just need to make sure and play defense. Tarasenko nearly scored because he was all alone and Rinne barely made the save.

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. James Neal: The only Preds goal wasn’t enough for tonight. His line was decent
  2. Mike Fisher: Played really hard tonight at both ends of the ice
  3. Pekka Rinne: 30 saves and kept the game close the whole night

Tweets of the Night

Game Extras

Game Video