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Nashville Predators 4, St. Louis Blues 0: A Sunday Shut Out in Smashville

A Sunday matinee matchup with the St. Louis Blues was a great way to end the weekend. Pekka Rinne was perfect, and goals from Austin Watson, Scott Hartnell, Kevin Fiala, and Colton Sissons sealed the shutout for Nashville.

The Tennessean

Doc Emrick took us through today’s matinee game in typical Doc Emrick style. The Blues are on a five-game losing streak right now, and they were filled with some fire in this matinee game.

The fans were so loud that they could be heard over Emrick’s play-by-play. They got louder as the game went on. #SmashvilleProud

An early penalty to St. Louis allowed the Predators power play to get started. Carl Gunnarson was sad in the box (dilly dilly!) and the PP unit got to work. A beautiful pass from Kyle Turris to Colton Sissons right before the power play expired put the Predators on the board first. Gotta say it now...this crowd is rowdy at 11:30 AM!

A few minutes later, Mikka Salomaki was found guilty of goaltender interference, and St. Louis had their first power play with about 11 minutes remaining in the first. Pekka Rinne came up with some solid saves, per usual. The penalty killers were successful.

After an odd-man rush from St. Louis, Kevin Fiala scored with the help of Roman Josi. Another beautiful goal from a pair of beautiful Swiss boys. The first period ended with a flurry of chances on Allen.

Less than two minutes into the second, the Predators tallied for a third time. A bouncing puck collected by Calle Jarnkrok was poked home by Scott Hartnell for his 11th of the season. Never underestimate his net-front presence. The goal was challenged by St. Louis, but it was determined that the puck simply came off Hartnell’s skate and no kicking motion was observed.

Viktor Arvidsson committed a hooking foul and the Predators were once again shorthanded with about half the second period gone. St. Louis had some bombs from the point on net, but they seemed rather discombobulated and couldn’t get a good cycle on their power play. As soon as the first kill was over, the Predators would go right back on the penalty kill, this time for P.K. Subban holding the stick. The Preds were quite understandably not happy about this.

On another gritty penalty kill, Austin Watson sprung loose on a breakaway and make Jake Allen look rather silly. 4-0 Predators with 6 minutes remaining in the second. Frosty time in Tennessee!

To begin the third period, the Predators continued the barrage against Allen. Filip Forsberg high-sticked Vladimir Sobotka in the face, and the Predators were again on the penalty kill. Meh. St. Louis was unable to convert, once again. The teams returned to even strength.

The Predators secured their second power play of the afternoon from Brayden Schenn’s hook on Sissons. They were unsuccessful on the PP, but threatened from several areas. Vladimir Tarasenko had perhaps his best chance of the afternoon on Rinne but was stopped by the big Finn’s pad.

Forsberg returned to the box for slashing with around 4 minutes remaining in the period. The penalty kill units have to be a little more tired this afternoon. Ryan Ellis blocked a huge snapshot and was escorted down the tunnel by the Preds medical team. Hopefully Ellis took a stinger and isn’t injured.

Ellis returned to the bench for the end of the game. Pekka Rinne turned in his 49th career shutout and 6th of the season. What an afternoon adventure for Nashville!

Random Observations

  • A 11:00 AM start for our boys in gold...woohoo!
  • Doc Emrick making cracks about Fergie and the anthem...yes!
  • Watson is “the best cruncher” on the Predators, per Doc Emrick.
  • To the pit of misery, DILLY DILLY!
  • Pontus Aberg got traded 5 minutes into the game to the Oilers. Can’t say that was unexpected. Best wishes, Pontus.
  • Colton Sissons right before the power play expires!
  • The crowd can be heard over the NBC announcers, and they’re complimentary of the Smashville Faithful.
  • A penalty kill for Nashville. Mikka Salomaki to the box for goaltender interference. No joy for STL.
  • Kevin Freaking Fiala. His 20th of the season!
  • Ovaries are exploding all over Bridgestone because Fiala and Josi are both so gorgeous.
  • #HartnellGoal. Man, I really like that third line.
  • The “woo-ing” has to stop. Please.
  • Arvi in the box. Pekka’s glove saving the day.
  • Another penalty? Really? OOOOOOOKKKAAAAYYYYY (Lil Jon voice)
  • Austin Watson just made Jake Allen look dumb. That shorthanded goal was a thing of beauty!
  • Per The Tennessean’s Adam Vingan, half of Watson’s goals this season have come against the Blues. Oh my.
  • “You know when 51 is around” and “this might be the best fourth line in hockey. They do it all” from the NBC announcers. I feel like a proud hockey mom right now.
  • Rinne is hanging out in net, switching between periods of boredom and making big saves. Rinne provides our consistency.
  • Arvi almost had another shorthanded goal, but he couldn’t control the puck after it was tipped by Allen. The crowd sure loved that one.
  • Some additional Pekka love after his stop on Tarasenko.
  • #SmashvilleStandingO
  • Some love for the Predators Foundation Calendar from Emrick on the TV timeout! They even mentioned Hartnell and his cat. We’re feeling the love, NBC.
  • Stop taking stupid penalties! I know we’re winning, but seriously.
  • Please don’t be hurt, Ellis. We need you.
  • Ellis is quickly back on the bench. Hi.
  • Six shutouts this season for Pekka Rinne.
  • I hope all the local Nashville Wendy’s locations are ready for the influx of Preds fans seeking out Frosty’s.
  • The Predators re-take first place in the Central Division with today’s win.

Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Kevin Fiala: Fiala’s 20th goal of the season was a beauty. The young Swiss forward has been playing with some fire recently, aided by his line mates Kyle Turris and Craig Smith. They threaten from all over the ice.
  2. Austin Watson: His shorthanded breakaway goal was incredible. Watson is always a shot-blocking machine on the penalty kill, and he was excellent today.
  3. Colton Sissons: He wired one heck of a shot on the power play for the first goal of the game. That goal really set the tone for the entire game.
  4. Pekka Rinne: Mr. 300 nabbed win #301 this afternoon. This is his 49th shutout. As always, he secured several loose pucks and made key saves in tight on a threatening Blues team. He made 27 saves this afternoon, good for his 6th shutout of the season.

Tweets of the Afternoon

Game Video