Nashville Predators 6, St Louis Blues 1: Explosive offense from youths boosts Preds to W
The Preds won big thanks to contributions from Evangelista, Novak, and more.
The Nashville Predators returned home to take on the St Louis Blues in a matinee game. Defender Spencer Stastny made his NHL debut, replacing Jeremy Lauzon, who was injured in Thursday's game.
Nashville got out to a strong start, generating several chances on the Blues' Thomas Greiss that culminated in a Tommy Novak goal at 4:46. Only a minute later, Luke Evangelista drew a cross-checking penalty, sending the Preds to the power play and Josh Leivo to the penalty box. Cody Glass scored with the advantage to give the Preds a two-goal lead, thanks to some nice work from Novak and Evangelista with the assists.
The Blues found their footing after that, slowing the Nashville offense and eventually getting a power play of their own as Cole Smith got involved in a scuffle with Sammy Blais and took an extra minor for tripping. However, the Preds were able to kill that penalty and then draw another of their own, as Tyler Pitlick boarded Dante Fabbro, who fortunately appeared to be all right.
That about wrapped up the first period, and the Preds got out to a good start in the second. An offensive flurry was unfortunately interrupted by a Kiefer Sherwood penalty spree--first for holding Brandon Saad at 4:13, then for tripping Nick Leddy at 7:18. Saros had to do some serious work on the first Sherwood penalty, but Colton Sissons scored shorthanded on the first shift of the second, which gave the Preds some breathing room as Cal Foote took a cross-checking penalty while they were already shorthanded.
Again, despite the Blues' onslaught, the Preds and Juuse Saros were able to kill off both the 5v3 and the 5v4, and went back on the attack. Evangelista scored at 13:27 to give the Preds a four-goal lead, with Novak adding his third assist of the game.
After that St Louis got their skates under them and really pushed into the Preds' d-zone. They interrupted their own momentum when Blais took a whack at Saros and the Blues went to the penalty kill. Nashville was unable to score, and the period came to a close.
The Preds once again started the third period strong, but a rare d-zone turnover let Calle Rosen collect the puck and put it past Saros to get the Blues on the board at 8:36. This gave the Blues a brief spark, but Nashville was able to recover and get back on the attack. Yakov Trenin got it back a few minutes later, intercepting a pass from Colton Parayko and scoring over a sprawling Greiss to make it 5-1 at 11:49.
With 2:41 remaining, Jake Neighbours took a tripping penalty, and after some nice passing on the power play Phil Tomasino accidentally scored, off a deflected pass, to make it 6-1 Preds. Nashville kept pressing, despite their huge lead and the late state of the game, with the young players eager for opportunity.
The clock ran out with no further score, as the Preds got a big home run in front of a jubilant crowd.