Game Report: Predators 2, Blues 1 

By Nicholas Hand

The Blues suffered a 2-1 loss on Tuesday night in Nashville and trail the best-of-seven round series three games to one. Ryan Ellis and James Neal scored for the Predators with Pekka Rinne making 24 saves.

Joel Edmundson scored the lone Blues goal and Jake Allen made 31 saves in the loss.
The Blues set the tone with one of their best periods of the series in the opening period, outshooting the Predators nine to seven.

Vladimir Tarasenko had two back-to-back scoring chances in the period that were turned aside by Rinne.

The Blues successfully killed off a Patrik Berglund slashing minor early in the period in the game’s first power play.

The second period saw the Predators carry more of the play but Allen responded to the task making eight saves keeping the score even and stopping Nashville on their second power play of the game on a Magnus Paajarvi tripping minor assessed at 14:50.

The Blues went to their first power play of the game with 53 seconds left in the second period. St. Louis had their best scoring chance of the period with a late scramble on the power play. Jaden Schwartz and Tarasenko were poking for the puck but Rinne kept it out with the help of Ellis at the goal line.

A subsequent poke of the puck by Alex Pietrangelo was covered by Rinne as the game proceeded to the third period with the Blues having 1:07 remaining on the power play. The Blues were unable to draw the first goal and the end of the power play produced a three on one rush for Nashville with Allen making a glove save on Viktor Arvidsson.

Allen then made a desperate skate save on Neal to keep the Predators from gaining the crucial first goal.

A skirmish in front of the Nashville benches produced a questionable power play for the Predators with Ryan Reaves and Edmundson getting roughing minors with Cody McLeod receiving the only roughing minor for Nashville.

On the ensuing power play, Ellis scored his fourth goal of the playoffs at 5:09 when he controlled a loose puck and slid it off Allen’s stick and into the net for the 1-0.

The score remained the same until a careless pass by David Perron intended for Carl Gunnarsson was picked off by Neal who turned and fired a wrist shot into the top corner of the net. Neal used Gunnarsson as a screen and Allen was late to pick up the perfectly placed shot by Neal.

The Blues rallied late with Edmundson’s third goal of the playoffs on a slap shot following a blocked shot by Alexander Steen. Jori Lehtera also assisted on the goal with 3:49 remaining in the final period.

The Blues pulled Allen for an extra attacker with less than two minutes remaining but were unable to find the equalizer as the Predators ran out the clock for a 2-1 final.

Of Note: Paajarvi and Zach Sanford were inserted into the lineup replacing Ivan Barbashev and Kyle Brodziak.

Looking Ahead: The Blues return home for Game 5 of the series at 7 p.m. Friday at Scottrade Center.