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Nashville Singing the Blues After St. Louis Weekend Sweep

Preview

On Sunday, Feb 10th the St. Louis Blues faced off with the Nashville Predators for the second time in less than 24 hours. A 1 PM start on Saturday in St. Louis and then an 11:30 AM start in Nashville on Sunday made for a tough back-to-back with the central division rival.

The Blues won the first game of the weekend 3-2 at home and were looking for another win to stretch their season-long win streak to 6 games.

Robby Fabbri was a healthy scratch for the 8th straight game along with recent call-up, defenseman Chris Butler. Butler was needed to fill the vacancy of Carl Gunnarsson who is listed as having an upper-body injury.  David Perron remains on the IR, also with an upper-body injury.


Team Records

  • Blues: 26-22-5
  • Predators: 33-20-4

Forward Lines

  1. Schenn-O’Reilly-Tarasenko
  2. Schwartz-Bozak-Steen
  3. Sandford-Sundqvist-Maroon
  4. MacEachern-Barbashev-Thomas

Defensive Pairings

  1. Edmundson-Pietrangelo
  2. Bouwmeester-Parayko
  3. Dunn-Bortuzzo

Starting Goaltenders

St. Louis – Jake Allen: 15-15-4, 3.04 GAA, .897 Sv%

Nashville – Juuse Saros: 14-6-1, 2.47 GAA, .917 Sv%


Goals Scored:

St. Louis: Pietrangelo (6), Tarasenko (20,21,22), Bozak (8)

Nashville: Arvidsson (23,24), Josi (11), Forsberg (20)


Three Stars

  1. Vladimir Tarsenko
  2. Viktor Arvidsson
  3. Ryan Johansen

Game Summary

1st Period

No goals were scored in the opening period. Both teams had power-play chances with the Blues going 0 for 2 and Nashville 0 for 1 in their opportunities. Shots on goal were 8-4 in favor of the Predators.

The NBC commentators noted that the Blues were doing a good job keeping the Predators away from the goal and from getting shots on goal. A welcomed trait that’s been consistent since a little before the all-star break.

The Blues blocked 9 shots in the period and Jake Allen stopped all 8 shots that made it through.

2nd Period

Things opened up a lot in the 2nd period. Pat Maroon had a back-hander attempt that nicked the crossbar. Moments later the Predators were on the offensive on a short-handed break. Robert Thomas broke up the play and collected the puck. He exited the zone and found Alex Pietrangelo up the ice. The Blues captain used the Nashville defenseman as a screen and wristed one past Soros for the game’s first goal. Ryan O’Reilly picked up the secondary assist.


No sooner than NBC analyst, Pierre McGuire could call the Blues style of play “old school hockey” that they forechecked the Preds in their defensive zone and came away with the puck at center ice. Jay Bouwmeester found a streaking Vladimir Tarasenko coming off the bench. Vladi skated it up the left side and found an opening over the left shoulder of Soros in the smallest of windows to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead.

Nashville answered quickly on a nice tic-tac-toe play in close to the net where Viktor Arvidsson poked it past Allen and cut the lead to 2-1.

While the Nashville fans were still chanting “You suck!” the Blues answered again. This time it was Tyler Bozak with a backhander from 20 feet out over the right shoulder of Soros. Assists were from Jaden Schwartz and Alex Steen.


The period ended with some more penalties, power plays and some 4 on 4 play, but the score remained 3-1 in favor of the Blues.

3rd Period

It looked like the Blues were playing tired in the third. They circled the wagons and gave up 19 shots on goal to just 9 of their own.

Nashville came back with goals from Roman Josi on a wrap-around goal at the 2:48 mark and tied the game 3-3 on Viktor Arvidsson’s second goal of the game 6 minutes and 10 seconds into the final period.

Vladi Tarasenko answered just 56 seconds later with his 2nd goal of the game when his shot was deflected by a Nashville stick and totally fooled Soros.

The Predators would not go away. Filip Forsberg tied the game at 4 goals each at the 12:53 mark.

Both teams had chances late in the game but it would go to overtime.

Overtime

It only took 16 seconds to decide the outcome and who better to seal the deal than the Russian sniper? Vladi skated into the Nashville zone, made a nifty move to get around Roman Josi and then wristed it home for the hat trick and his 200th career goal. It was his 5th career hatty and his first since 2016.

The Blues have now won 6 straight, extending their longest winning streak of the season with the 5-4 OT win.


My Thoughts

  • I’m currently researching recipes for “Crow” in anticipation of eating some this year. Ever since I stated publicly on “The Drop Hockey Podcast” that I thought the Blues would not make the playoffs, they haven’t lost. I’ll gladly eat some crow if this team can continue on this win streak and prove me wrong.
  • My next bold statement will involve Jaden Schwartz catching fire and going on a scoring streak followed by my next prediction that David Perron will never get injured again.
  • Allen made just enough saves today. Nashville did a much better job of getting in close to the net today than they did yesterday. But, given the results lately, I think Binnington’s gotta be the starter most games moving forward.
  • Yesterday and today were the most passionate games I’ve seen Vladi play in a looooong time.  He was yelling at people, playing hard and he seemed determined to win. He’s really showing up in a big way lately.
  • This week the Blues play New Jersey at home, and then Arizona, Colorado, and Minnesota on the road. The Colorado/Minnesota games are the 2nd of 3 straight weekends of back-to-backs this month.
  • Let’s go Blues!

 

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Tim Hirsch

I am a lifelong resident of Du Quoin, IL and have been a Blues fan since as long as I can remember. My dad started following the Blues in 1967. I was 3 years old, so I guess I've been a fan all my life.

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