Predators Prevail Over Blues 4-3

ENTERPRISE CENTER, ST. LOUIS, MO –

David Perron takes a shot in Saturday afternoon action against the Nashville Predators. (Scott Rovak/NHL via Getty Images)

The Blues have won only one game in regulation in their last 10 contests. Thanks to their outstanding play early in the season, they still lead the Western Conference, but the recent slide has bunched things up in the division. Today’s contest with the Nashville Predators is the first of a home and home series this weekend. The two teams will play again in Nashville Sunday evening at 5 PM Central.

Nashville is coming off a 5-0 win over the New York Islanders, and are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games. They begin the day just one point out of a wildcard spot.

The Blues need a win to get back on track and add some cushion to their overall lead in the West. The Predators need a win to climb closer to a playoff spot.

Jake Allen will be in net for the Blues while Juuse Saros will start for Nashville.

CONDENSED REPORT

Nashville got off to a 2-0 lead with goals by Viktor Arvidsson and Matt Duchene in the first period. The only life the Blues could muster was when Brayden Schenn dropped the gloves with Filip Forsberg. A few minutes later, Robert Bortuzzo tangled with Jarred Tinordi. It looked like the home team won both fights, but the visitors won the period. They outshot the Blues 15-7.

St. Louis bounced back with a goal from Zach Sanford early in the second period to cut the lead to 2-1. It was his 5th goal in the last two games and 13th of the season.

Kyle Turris scored just 21 seconds later from the top of the left circle to restore Nashville’s 2-goal advantage.

Jaden Schwartz scored a power-play goal less than two minutes later, and Jordan Kyrou added the game-tying goal in the middle of the period to give the Blues life.

However, Carl Gunnarsson was called for holding early in the third period, and Nashville needed only 17 seconds of the power play. Mikael Granlund scored the go-ahead goal, and that’s the way it ended. 4-3 was the final score.

GOALS

FIGHTS

THOUGHTS

Too many goals

Prior to today’s game, in the last 10 games, the Blues have given up 4.2 goals per game, while scoring 3.1 per game. They’ve given up 33,34,35, and 52 shots on goal, all resulting in losses during that stretch.

Where’s the Defense?

With Jay Bouwmeester‘s incident and unlikely return to hockey, at least for this season, if not forever, the Blues defense is not negotiating from a position of strength. Blues goalies Jordan Binnington and Jake Allen were near the top in the league early in the season, but both are now struggling to keep the puck out of the net, causing one to question the help they are getting in front of them.

Where’s the Forecheck? –

This team’s DNA is forechecking, puck possession, and wearing teams down with their style of play. But, it seems that in the second half of the season this team is playing more of a wide-open style and allowing their opponents to dictate play more often than not.

Leadership –

David Perron has yet to score a goal in February. Ryan O’Reilly has only one goal this month. I’m not picking on these guys. They lead the team in points. But, they’ve not been scoring goals and this team hasn’t been winning.

Injuries – 

You just gotta hope this team can hang on until Oskar Sundqvist gets healthy, and hopefully, Vladimir Tarasenko isn’t too far behind that. But, you have to wonder if all the missed games by others and the long season last year isn’t catching up with this team.

They’re still in a good position as far as the standings go, but it feels a lot better when the Blues are playing their game and winning games.

Tomorrow is another chance to right the ship.

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