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Nashville Predators 2, St. Louis Blues 6: Predators Can’t Ignite Offense in Physical Collapse

That was bad.

NHL: Nashville Predators at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off of a victory in their home building against the Blues just two nights earlier, the Nashville Predators arrived in St. Louis for a post-Thanksgiving rematch. Juuse Saros got the start in net for this central division rematch, but he would be replaced with Rinne during the game as the Predators lost an ugly one, 6-2.

The first period started off with a bang, a pow, and possibly a few bams. As the opening puck dropped, Austin Watson got into it with Patrick Maroon. This was followed by another tussle between Ryan Hartman and Brayden Schenn, and assorted physical altercations for the rest of the period.

Halfway through the first, the Blues found themselves with a 2-on-1 opportunity, and Ivan Barbashev found the back of the net. Just a few minutes later, Ryan O’Reilly got open space in front of the net, and extended the St. Louis lead to two. Shortly after, Nashville was awarded a power play, and Nick Bonino scored to bring the Predators back within one goal. However, Brayden Schenn got loose on a breakaway less than a minute later, and the Blues’ lead returned to two goals. This would be the last goal of the period, and Nashville would head into the second down two and without any momentum.

Nothing seemed to have changed after the first intermission, as Zach Sanford got out on another breakaway, and found the back of the net once again. The period continued with lackluster energy from Nashville, and no real signs of hope from the ice. 11 minutes into the second, Robby Fabbri forced the puck into the net, and Saros was benched after his fifth goal. Pekka Rinne came into the game and didn’t allow any goals that period, but the Nashville offense couldn’t help him and the score was 5-1 after 40 minutes.

The third period was, to put it lightly, bleak. Aside from a couple of successful penalty kills, the last third of the game felt like a slow march to an inevitable loss. The one bright spot was Pekka Rinne, who excelled in net after being put into the game in place of Saros. He was put into a handful of tough spots, mainly a two minute 5-on-3, but stood tall and kept the door shut, allowing only one goal late in the third.

However, that goal, from Alex Pietrangelo, was not Rinne’s fault, as the defense let the St. Louis forwards get right in front of the net. Late in the game, the offense accidentally scored a goal, as Ryan Hartman found an angle and went high to get the puck into the net. That would be the final goal of the game, and 6-2 would be the final score to a sloppy, sloppy game for the Predators.

Random Observations

  • As the opening puck drops, Watson gets in a fight with Patrick Maroon. Premeditated or not, this is gonna be a physical game. Don’t expect this to be the last showing of physicality.
  • Less than two minutes in, and we have fight #2. Ryan Hartman and Brayden Schenn off another puck drop.
  • Right as I was forgetting about the actual objective hockey, Mattias Ekholm shoots one off the post.
  • Blues counterattack leads to an Ivan Barbashev goal. 0-1.
  • 2-on-1 opportunity for the Preds shut down, which leads to a Ryan O’Reilly goal on the other side of the ice. 0-2.
  • Upcoming power play for Nashville. A goal here would be huuuge.
  • Shortly after the Nashville goal, Brayden Schenn capitalizes on a breakaway. 1-3.
  • That’ll do it for the first, not much to praise from that period.
  • Another Blues goal less than a minute into the game. 1-4.
  • Power play opportunity #2 for Nashville coming up.
  • Some solid looks, but no goals during the man advantage. Deficit stands at three.
  • Another goal for St. Louis. 1-5.
  • Peks coming in for Saros, not a great night from Juuse for sure.
  • Another man advantage for Nashville, but I’m not terribly optimistic.
  • No goal on the power play, still trailing by four.
  • Big save by Rinne on Tarasenko, as the second period ends. This is an ugly one.
  • Just in case anyone is still watching, the Predators are going down two men for two minutes.
  • Halfway through the third, and Nashville is on the penalty kill once again.
  • A bit of 4-on-4 hockey after some shoving after the whistle.
  • Another goal for the Blues. 1-6.
  • Ryan Hartman finds an opening, and gets the second Nashville goal of the night. 2-6.

Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Nick Bonino—Briefly made it look like a game.
  2. Pekka Rinne—It won’t be remembered, but Rinne had quite a few big saves once he came into the game.
  3. The Fans—Regardless of how the team on the ice played, the gold presence in St. Louis was noticeable and sizable.

Tweets of the Night

Game Video