Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blues suffocate Preds in shutout victory

The Nashville Predators fell to the St. Louis Blues by a 3-0 score on Tuesday night at Scottrade Center. The loss dropped the Predators record against St. Louis to 4-1-1 on the year, and it was the first time this season that Nashville has lost to St. Louis on the road.

Neither team took many chances in the first period. Nashville got a few scoring chances off of the creativity of Alexander Radulov, but weren't able to get anything by Brian Elliott. St. Louis was able to generate stellar scoring opportunities on the power play, but Pekka Rinne made key saves to weather the Blues' storm.

St. Louis was finally able to get on the board in the second period when Jamie Langenbrunner converted on a wide open net after a brilliant pass from former Predators' captain Jason Arnott. Arnott came across the slot and drew the defense with him, which allowed an easy pass to Langenbrunner. Langenbrunner had lots of room to put the puck, and was able to put the Blues up 1-0 on the easy goal.

After that, the Blues played shutdown, conservative hockey. Elliott was able to make some key saves, and the St. Louis defense corps came up with timely blocks. Nashville wasn't able to get to the rebounds that Elliot was giving up. The Blues defense corps did a good job of boxing out the Nashville forwards.

In the third period, the Blues took a 2-0 lead on a fantastic goal by David Perron. Perron was able to slip around Kevin Klein to receive the pass from David Backes right in front of Rinne. Perron made a nifty backhand move and slid the puck past a sprawling Rinne to give the Blues a two-goal lead.

St. Louis would add a third goal at 16:00 of the third period when T.J. Oshie backhanded a puck past Rinne after coming out from behind the Nashville net. St. Louis played suffocating defense throughout the entire night, and Elliott picked up his third consecutive shutout for the Blues.

Nashville had several good opportunties to score in this game but weren't able to capitalize. Elliott has been sensational for the Blues in goal all season long, and Tuesday night was no different. The Predators will try to put this loss behind them and focus on the Detroit Red Wings. With the Predators failing to clinch a playoff berth Tuesday night, they will be gearing up to do so on Friday night in Detroit.

Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Brian Elliott(STL)
2. T.J. Oshie(STL)
3. David Perron(STL)

Official 3 Stars:
1. Brian Elliott(STL)
2. Jamie Langenbrunner(STL)
3. Alexander Steen(STL)

(Photo Credit: Leanne Charles)

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