St. Louis, MO – The Nashville Predators left it all on the ice tonight to thwart a late game comeback attempt by the defending Stanley Cup Champions to defeat the St. Louis Blues, 4-2.
Mired in a terrible losing streak, the Predators faced the daunting task of facing the Blues on their home ice tonight in hopes of getting the monkey off of their back, and getting a win.
Filip Forsberg showed how important it is to get on the board first, when he opened the Predators scoring just 20 seconds into the game, passing a wrist shot past Blues goalie Jordan Bennington for the early 1-0 lead.
Mattias Ekholm then fired a shot on net that deflected off of two St. Louis defenders to extend the lead, 2-0, at the 3:40 mark of the opening frame. Nashville seemed to be off and running at that point.
Nashville had been on a six game losing streak coming into St. Louis and head coach Peter Laviolette started Juuse Saros in goal over Pekka Rinne again. Rinne has been struggling during this recent stretch of games, having been pulled in three games.
With Nashville leading by a pair of goals, Klim Kostin whipped a wrist shot past Saros for his first NHL goal at 13:55 of the first period and the lead was cut in half, 2-1.
Colton Sissons would extend the Predators lead back to a pair of goals at 18:34 of the opening frame on a wrister to give Nashville a 3-1 lead.
A scoreless second period kept the teams separated by a pair of goals.
Into the third period at 16:52 Alex Pietrangelo brought the Blues to within a goal with a tip in to give St. Louis some hope at 3-2.
The Blues pulled goaltender Bennington late in the third period to put added pressure on the Predators and Nashville stood tall under the pressure, with Saros holding down the net.
That’s when Callie Jarnkrok took the loose puck and scored the empty netter at 19:29 to send the fans to the exits. Final score, 4-2 in favor of the Predators.
Nashville once again out shot their opponent 43-26 for the win, and won 54% of the face-offs. They were scoreless on the power play and blocked 18 shots.
Saros blocked 24 of 26 shots on net.
The two teams will meet again on Monday night when St. Louis visits the Bridgestone Arena for a 7″00pm puck drop.