NHL Hockey
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3
Final 1 2 3 OT Tot
St. Louis 1 2 0 0 3
Nashville 0 0 3 1 4
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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT, February 13, 2018
Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee  Attendance: 17,221

West-leading Predators host challenging Blues

St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators

  1. St. Louis dropped a 4-1 home decision to Pittsburgh on Sunday, snapping its two-game winning streak in the process. The Blues are 4-1-0 in their last five road tilts, allowing a total of just seven goals in those contests.
  2. Nashville beat Montreal, 3-2, in a shootout at Bell Centre on Saturday night, improving to 2-0-2 on its last road trip, with all four games needing extra time to decide a victor. The Predators are 4-0-2 in their last six tilts overall -- the longest active point streak in the league.
  3. The Preds have taken the first two meetings of the season with the Blues, both of which were played at Scottrade Center (won 2-0 on November 24 and 2-1 on December 27). Nashville has won three straight home tilts vs. St. Louis by a combined score of 14-4.
  4. Kyle Brodziak potted the Blues' lone goal Sunday, lighting the lamp for the second time in his last three games, and giving him nine markers in 2017-18 overall -- tied for his most in any season since a 22-goal performance in 2011-12 when his was with the Wild. Brodziak has four goals (seven assists) in 45 career skates vs. the Preds.
  5. Kevin Fiala lit the lamp once Saturday night, giving him five goals in his last five games, and 16 since the beginning of December overall -- tied for second most of any Western Conference skater. Fiala has one assist (zero goals) in five career skates against the Blues.
  6. Nashville has gotten 40 goals from its blueliners in 2017-18 -- most of any team in the league. Blues' defensemen have chipped in 31 markers this season (tied for fourth most in hockey).

Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators worked overtime to come home from Montreal with first place in the Central Division in their mitts.

Rinne's 47 saves Saturday night, including 10 in overtime, enabled Nashville to steal two points in La Belle Province with a 3-2 shootout win. At 33-12-9, the Predators have 75 points and games in hand on second-place Winnipeg and third-place St. Louis.

A chance to create further separation from St. Louis happens Tuesday night when Nashville opens a four-game homestand in Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators went 2-0-2 on an Eastern Conference road swing, with every game going into overtime or a shootout.

The trip's finale had all the earmarks of a defeat, except Rinne came up with a spate of huge saves in OT to extend the game into the shootout, where his three saves and Ryan Ellis' first-round goal decided the issue.

"He gave us an opportunity to leave the building with the points," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "We need to play a lot better in front of him ... he was outstanding. He was incredible tonight."

Based on last spring's Western Conference semifinals, as well as the Predators' two wins this season against St. Louis, there's no reason to expect Rinne to be any less incredible in this showdown.

Rinne (28-8-4, 2.30, .927) has ceded just one goal to the Blues in 2-0 and 2-1 victories during the 2017 portion of the season.

In Nashville's 4-2 series victory over St. Louis last year, Rinne permitted only 11 goals.

"He was there all night long, making these post-to-post cross-ice saves," Predators center Ryan Johansen said of Rinne after the win in Montreal. "He was phenomenal. Hats off to him tonight."

Not only are the Predators two points clear of the Jets and four ahead of the Blues, they also have played two fewer games than Winnipeg and four less than St. Louis (34-21-3). They also have a game in hand on Vegas, which is a point ahead of them for the conference's best record.

That makes this game even more critical for the Blues, who come into town off a frustrating 4-1 loss Sunday to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

St. Louis appeared to take a 2-1 lead early in the third period, but Paul Stastny's tip-in was overturned by the Situation Room when they ruled he played it with a high stick. The Penguins scored 34 seconds later and never looked back.

"It wasn't our worst game we played," Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said. "I thought we battled hard. It's 1-1 until obviously the third and a couple of mistakes. You've got to find a way to win a hockey game. But if you look at the overall effort, it was there."

St. Louis outshot Pittsburgh 34-23 but appeared to wear down in the third period as it played its third game in four days. The Blues held an optional practice Monday that most of their top players skipped.

Either Jake Allen (19-16-2, 2.74 goals-against average, .908 save percentage) or former Nashville backup Carter Hutton (15-5-1, 1.70, .944), who has played the best hockey of his career this season, will start in the net for St. Louis.

Updated February 13, 2018

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