Preds Fall to Blues 4-3

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Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

Ahh, another visit with the St. Louis Blues. Normally, a game this early wouldn’t be this pressurized (so to say), but because both St. Louis and Nashville are bouncing between first and second place within the Central Division, it’s going to have some tension. So, did Nashville cling to the coveted top spot or did St. Louis push its kid brother aside for first place?

First Period:
– Leave it to T.J. Oshie to put the Blues on the board first at 3:25 with his first goal of the season and a PPG on top of that. Oshie has been waiting for that goal since being placed on the IR after suffering a concussion back on October 28th against the Stars.
– The Blues would launch themselves up 2-0 at 12:45 with a goal from Carl Gunnarsson; his first goal of the season.
– Saving Grace Filip Forsberg would put Nashville on the board less than a minute later at 13:21 for his eight goal of the season. James Neal (5) and Roman Josi (5) would collect on the assists.

Second Period: – Captain Shea Weber would tie the game at 2 with his fifth goal of the season at 3:41. Filip Forsberg (11) and Roman Josi (6) would pick up the assists. WEB– At 15:18, Vladimir Tarasenko would work his magic for his tenth goal of the season, putting St. Louis up 3-2 late in the second.
– With under a second left in the second period, Roman Josi sunk a PPG to tie the game for his second goal of the season. Shea Weber (3) and Filip Forsberg (12) assisted in the tying goal.

Third Period:
– The lone goal of the third period would come from Paul Stastny, sealing the game and the top spot of the Central Division in favor of St. Louis.

So Nashville falls to St. Louis 4-3 in regulation, giving the Blues the reigning spot of the Central Division. However, Nashville is still right behind St. Louis, so one false move and they’ll be back in second place.

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Blues Crush Predators 6-1

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Well, what can I say about last night’s game? Glad I was celebrating my college’s Homecoming, perhaps? Nah, I would’ve gone down with this ship if I had been there, but ouch; what a terrible way to start a long, seven-game road trip. The St. Louis Blues have always picked on little brother Nashville, but last night’s performance made even the strongest stomachs do a few flips, even all the way in Cookeville.

So, were there any highlights from last night’s game? Eh, one or two, but if I was a Blues blogger, I’d be up all night with this one. But there are still somethings we can discuss:

First Period:

  • Alexander Steen collected his ninth goal of the season on a powerplay brought about from a tripping call from Colin Wilson at 5:27. It only took Steen seven seconds to score, with the penalty beginning at 5:20.
  • St. Louis would pound Carter Hutton in the net with shots-on-goal at 17. Nashville was only able to send eight towards Jaroslav Halak.

Second Period:

  • T.J. Oshie would nab his second goal of the season with a tip-in at 7:35.
  • Jaden Schwartz would collect his second goal as well at 11:36.
  • Nashville took more shots in the second period, eight to St. Louis’ four.

Third Period:

  • Fifty-two seconds into the third, Nick Spaling would attempt to turn the tables, capitalizing with a short-handed goal, his first goal of the season. Mattias Ekholm would grab his first assist of the season.
  • Alexander Steen was well on his way to a Hat Trick with his second goal of the night at 4:37, his tenth goal of the season.
  • Predators would fall 5-1 with a goal from Derek Roy at 7:48.
  • Carter Hutton would be pulled after Roy’s goal, with Magnus Hellberg getting his first shot on NHL ice.
  • Alex Pietrangelo would score his first goal of the season on the powerplay to end the game in St. Louis’ favor, 6-1.

Welp, not too much to say after that game except Pekka’s injury has a lot of people freaking out. However, you cannot blame Carter Hutton for the awful game, though he isn’t out of the hot water just yet.

Also, the fact that Viktor Stalberg continues to be healthy scratched is not a good sign between he and Barry Trotz. He has expressed his distain and, you sort of side with the guy. Fourth line with Hendricks and Gaustad? Yea, not exactly an area to produce much from. It’s easy to understand his frustration but… that is the way of the Trotz. Someone has to take up residency in his dog house, and it looks like Mr. Stalberg has found his way.

Nashville has a few days off before heading out to Arizona to take on Phoenix on Halloween at 8PM.

Preds Shutout by No. 1 Blues

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Shea tries some defensive moves to avoid another Blues goal.

If you watched any of tonight’s game, you noticed the Predators did not retain any of their confidence from Tuesday night’s win over the Minnesota Wild. Or maybe, they are just that unnerved by the St. Louis Blues. Nonetheless, wether it be sheer nerves or a lack of confidence, it was clear the Predators were not ready to gain their second win. What was also clear? The lack of a complete offensive initiative. Any Predators stronghold will tell you, offense is not Nashville’s strong suite, but tonight’s performance made it overly apparent.

Plentiful penalties also played a huge factor in tonight’s loss for the Predators, with both sides taking their share, but the Preds took six to the Blues’s five. By the looks of the way they performed tonight, Tuesday’s game was a mere fluke by the Wild. The Predators have an uncountable amount of work to do if they wish to see the post-season. Here is the rundown of tonight’s game:

KEY POINTS:

  • Paul Gaustad remains on the scratched list, along with Jonathon Blum and Brian McGrattan. Keeping with the lines from Tuesday, Yip, Bourque, and Spaling stick together, while Craig Smith finds himself center on the fourth line.
  • T.J. Oshie capitalized on the Blues’s first powerplay of the night at 12:59, sealing his third goal of this early season with a wrister past Pekka Rinne.
  • The only goal from the second period would rise from the Blues, a penalty shot (possibly the first of the NHL season) by Patrik Berglund sinking his second goal of the season, a wrister of his own past Rinne. The penalty shot was brought about due to a hooking on the breakaway from Mike Fisher. Pekka has struggled thus far this season when it comes to one-on-one situations (do we need to go into detail?).
  • The third period goal also belonged to the Blues, with Vladimir Tarasenko, the Russian youngster taking the NHL by storm, gaining his fourth goal of the season. Again, with the wrist shot.
  • From the get-go, the Blues had the upper-hand against the Predators, both offensively and defensively. Out-shooting the Predators 24 to 13, Nashville was at a loss from the very beginning.

Like we mentioned above, penalties plagued both sides tonight, but the Predators took the brunt of the penalties. The Predators were given five chances by the Blues to gain their footing, but St. Louis wanted nothing of it, denying any chance of a goal for Nashville. Here are your penalty box lovers:

  1. Matt Halischuk – 4:22, 1st Period – Hooking
  2. Mike Fisher – 12:10, 1st Period – Hooking
  3. Rich Clune – 6:11, 2nd Period – Fighting
  4. Mike Fisher – 9:26, 2nd Period – Hooking on Breakaway (Penalty Shot)
  5. Craig Smith – 16:20, 2nd Period – Hooking
  6. Rich Clune – 17:42, 3rd Period – Roughing

No fight, no battle from the Predators tonight against the Blues. Expressing the fact that the Blues had the upper-hand the entire game cannot be spoken enough. The Predators were not physically, mentally, or emotionally ready to face the No. 1 Blues tonight, no excuses needed.

Though the Predators will find their groove again, this will not be the end of the psychological impact the Blues have over the Preds this season. The Predators face the Blues in St. Louis once again on February 5th.

The Predators are off to the Golden State to face the Anaheim Ducks this Saturday at 9:30PM. Hopefully, the Ducks do not hold the same voodoo over the Predators has the Blues do.

Until then,
GO PREDS

Predators find Weakness in Shootouts, Fall to Blues 4-3

Predators notched a few more goals, but was it enough?

We’d like to start out with an explainable excuse as to why the Predators fell short tonight against the Blues, but unfortunately, rust and adjustments just can’t quite get them by tonight. The first period started out slow and steady for the Predators, then rocket-powered during the second. The momentum seemed to fizzle during the third, and completely dissipate during overtime. With the team heading straight to Minnesota tonight, are the Predators ready to take on this hectic, fast-paced season? Here’s the rundown of tonight’s head-shaker:

KEY POINTS:

  • Paul Gaustad was scratched tonight due to an upper body injury sustained in Saturday’s game. Rich Clune took to the ice for his first time in a Preds’ sweater to replace the injured Goose. Jonathon Blum was the second scratch of the night, with Victor Bartley being sent back down to Milwaukee.
  •  As mentioned before, the first period seemed a little bit of a “slow go” for the Predators, with the Blues taking control early. However, the Predators picked up the pace, with Colin Wilson striking gold first, sinking the puck passed Jaroslav Halak at 9:10. Patric Hornqvist and Ryan Ellis both picked up their first assists for the season on Colin’s goal.
  • Before Predators fans could finish celebrating, the Blues responded with a goal of their own at 10:28 with a goal from Vladimir Tarasenko, his third goal of the season.
  • The Blues would take the lead at 15:04 with a powerplay goal from Andy McDonald for his first goal of the season.
  • Mike Fisher would quickly tie the game once again at 17:13 on a powerplay goal of his own, his first goal of the season. Martin Erat would pick up his first assist of the season, along with Patric Hornqvist who picked up his third. 
  • After notching his third assist, Patric Hornqvist felt it was time to seal a goal of his own, slipping one past Halak at 12:53 on the powerplay. Martin Erat would pick up his second assist, along with Mike Fisher picking up his first assist.
  • It seemed as if the Predators would keep the Blues at bay during the third period, but alas, Alex Pietrangelo would notch one at 12:10 past Pekka Rinne to tie the game.
  • Overtime saw no goals, though the puck stayed in the Predators’ zone if not all of the five minutes, making it look as if the Blues were on a permanent powerplay. Thus, to the shootout they went:

SHOOTOUT SUMMARY:

  • NASHVILLE – Craig Smith – SAVE
  • ST. LOUIS – T.J. Oshie – GOAL
  • NASHVILLE – Martin Erat – SAVE
  • ST. LOUIS – Alexander Steen – GOAL

PENALTY SUMMARY:

The Blues spent more time in the penalty box than the Predators did (Predators only landed in the box during the first period), but the Preds only had one more powerplay goal than St. Louis. Here’s the penalty box rundown:

  • Rich Clune – 1st Period, 4:55 – Boarding
  • David Legwand – 1st Period, 13:32 – Hooking
  • Shea Weber – 1st Period, 17:37 – Interference
  • Hal Gill – 1st Period, 19:58 – Roughing

The Predators have no time to recuperate or collect themselves before the next game, as they should be on a plane headed to Minnesota to face the oh-so-wonderful Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Though not completely run over by the Blues like the Red Wings were on Saturday, the Predators still have more work to do if they want to compete in this short, fast-paced season. Offense is definitely a must, but that goes with a grain of salt. If the Predators do not collect themselves fast, they’ll be sitting on the shelf before they can even catch their breath.

The Predators will be in Minnesota tomorrow to face you-know-who and the Wild at 7PM. You won’t see the Preds back in Nashville until February 7th, so prepare yourselves for TV screaming time, thanks to the circus coming to town (yay!).

So what attitude will the Predators take on this seven-game road trip? We are hoping offensive, physical and mental toughness, along with plenty of shots-on-goal. We’d appreciate plenty of road Frosties.

Until tomorrow,
GO PREDS

Predators unable to Shake the Blues, Fall 3-0

Pekka Rinne goes to stop the puck before St. Louis could score again.

St. Louis already has their playoff spot clinched, but the Predators only need one more point to capture a spot of their own. The only team standing in their way, of course, is the leader of the Central Division, the St. Louis Blues. Nashville has actually made a good standing against the Blues this season, only losing once 3-2 in a shootout back on February 23rd. In the previous three games, the Predators were able get the best of St. Louis.

Only one game stood between the Predators and a playoff spot (and Barry Trotz’s 500th win). Were the Predators able to knock off the reining champs of the division? Here are the highlights from tonight’s game:

KEY POINTS:

  • Although he practiced this morning with the team, Martin Erat remained on the scratched list this evening in St. Louis. Colin Wilson, however, has recovered from his groin injury and joined the lineup once again. Roman Josi, Brian McGrattan, Jack Hillen, and as expected, Jordin Tootoo rounded up the scratched list.
  • Neither team was able to score in the first period, but Nashville came out strong with the shots, out-shooting St. Louis 8 to 6. However, both Brian Elliot and Pekka Rinne were light on their feet, blocking some key shots on goal.
  • St. Louis built momentum off their home crowd in the second period and were finally able to capitalize on the chaos at 6:35 with a snap shot from Jamie Langenbrunner (6th goal of the season), putting the Blues up 1-0 over the Predators.
  • With St. Louis only up by one point going into the 3rd, the Predators had prime opportunities to tie up the game or surpass the Blues. However, St. Louis continued to control the puck over the Predators, with a goal from David Perron at 4:47, his 17th goal of the season.
  • So after Perron’s goal, it looked as if the Blues would take it a little further with a third goal from T.J. Oshie, but the goal was waved off, due to Pekka being pushed into the net. To be honest, it should have been ruled a goal, but the Predators were able to bite the bullet on that call.
  • Oshie must have taken offense to the ref’s call, for at 16:00 he snuck a back-hander behind Pekka to put the Blues up 3-0 (his 19th goal of the season). The Predators would push hard to at least sink one goal, but Brian Elliot was just too fast and accurate for the Predators to sneak one by.
  • The Blues and the Predators were even with shots, but it was clear who had control of the game the entire time. The Blues stole way too many passes from the Predators, making Nashville look like pee wee hockey team compared to the team that destroyed the Blackhawks on Sunday night. Brian Elliot is a beast in his own, though; this shutout over the Predators gave him his third consecutive shutout (9th of the season).
  • There were only two penalties in the entire game, one on the Predators and one on the Blues. Alexander Radulov picked up a hooking penalty at 7:00 in the 2nd Period, but the Blues weren’t able to gain a goal from his mishap.

Not the game the Predators needed to lose, but the team has no time to sulk in misery. Luckily, the Blackhawks lost in a shootout against the New Jersey Devils, falling back a few steps, too. Although the Predators are not likely to face the St. Louis Blues to start off with in the playoffs, depending on how far they advance, they will eventually… and that’s nerve-wracking from a fan’s perspective. If only the Predators can channel the momentum they had against Chicago on Sunday and continue to play that way.

The Predators aren’t headed home just yet. Before taking on the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday in Nashville, the Predators have to drop by Detroit one last time this season to face the Red Wings on Friday. Again, channeling Sunday’s game would be ideal. Barry needs his 500th.

Until then,
GO PREDS.

(Photo credit: Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Blues come out Singing, Predators lose 3-2 in SO

Rookie Roman Josi finds the back of the net for his third goal of the season.

The Predators welcomed division rival St. Louis Blues to Nashville Thursday night, seeking to extend their winning streak to three. However, the Blues were just as hungry (if not more) than the Predators, seeking to finally take the almighty Predators down for this first time this season. Here are the highlights from Thursday night’s game in Smashville:

KEY POINTS:

  • Although Patric Hornqvist and Brian McGrattan are still feeling the effects of their upper-body injuries, both players are expected to play on Saturday against the San Jose Sharks. Jack Hillen and rookie Ryan Ellis were the two scratches for the night.
  • It was clear from the get-go that the St. Louis Blues were looking for a win in Nashville, controlling the puck for the majority of the 1st period. The Blues wasted no time gaining the lead at 4:13 with a wrist shot past Pekka from Chris Stewart, his 13th goal of the season. The Predators would trail the Blues into the second period 1-0.
  • Barry Trotz must have given the team an “intermission intervention”, for the second period looked much better for the Predators than the first period did. Rookie Roman Josi found the back of the net at 2:53, tying the game 1-1 for this third goal of the season. Roman was assisted by Brandon Yip (2) and Matt Halischuk (9).
  • Colin Wilson would give the Predators the lead at 12:52 with a backhanded goal, his 13th goal of the season. Wilson was assisted by Jordin Tootoo (20) and Nick Spaling (9).
  • The Predators did not have long to celebrate, for at 13:26 saw a goal from St. Louis’s Vladimir Sobotka, his 4th goal of the season. The two Central Division rivals would end the second period tied at 2.
  • The third period resulted in no goals from either team, thus tossing the game into overtime. After five minutes, neither team was able to produce a goal (plenty of close calls, though), sending the game into a shootout. Here is the shootout play-by-play:
  1. ST. LOUIS – T.J. Oshie – GOAL
  2. NASHVILLE – Colin Wilson – SAVE
  3. ST. LOUIS – Andy McDonald – GOAL
  4. NASHVILLE – Martin Erat – MISS
  • The St. Louis Blues managed to steal the win in the shootout over the Predators, their first win of the season against Nashville. Nashville was able to out-shoot the Blues 27 to 24, but Jaroslav Halak was able to block more goals than Pekka Rinne.
  • Neither team was able to use their powerplays successfully, although there was only one amongst both teams. Hal Gill was sent to the box at 9:26 in the second period for delaying the game.

The Blues left Nashville with the two points, but Nashville was able to get away with one point, which is much better than losing in regulation. It was clear that the Predators did not have their heads in the game – either they assumed a win against the Blues or they were just completely out of it – and the St. Louis Blues took complete advantage of the situation at hand.

The Predators continue the home stretch against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, who are 32-21-6 on the season and are 2nd in the Pacific Conference.

Until then,
GO PREDS.