Nashville at St. Louis

Predators beat Blues for sixth time this season

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- The Nashville Predators can do no wrong against the St. Louis Blues.

Martin Erat and Steve Sullivan scored two goals apiece to lead the Predators to a 6-3 victory over the Blues on Saturday night.

Nashville beat St. Louis for the sixth time this season -- and 14th straight overall -- with the first five victories this season coming by one goal, including three in overtime.

"We've had some success against the Blues," Sullivan said. "I don't think it's the Blues. It's our style of play."

The Predators rallied from a 2-1 deficit after the first period with goals from Sullivan and Jason Arnott in the first 5:45 of the second.

Sullivan scored on a two-man advantage -- the game's only power-play goal -- 2:15 into the period. He took a cross-ice pass from Paul Kariya and easily put the puck past goalie Curtis Sanford to tie the score at 2. Arnott, who got an assist on Sullivan's goal, gave the Predators the lead for good after he tapped in his 17th goal of the season.

Erat added his first with one minute left as the Predators pulled away for its 10th win in 11 games.

"That was a momentum shift big time," said Sanford, who faced 24 shots. "That goal was the backbreaker. He put it off the post and in.

"But NHL goalies stop those and unfortunately I didn't stop that one."

It was exactly the backbreaker that coach Barry Trotz looked for entering the game. Both entered as two of the hottest teams in the league. The Blues had won seven of eight, including four straight, and the Predators nine of 10 and three straight.

Although the Blues had been playing better with more confidence under coach Andy Murray, who took over in December, Trotz believed they would falter if the Predators kept pushing.

"We wanted to work on their belief system and make them not believe as much and the guys came through tonight," Trotz said.

St. Louis pulled to within a 4-3 deficit on Petr Cajanek's goal late in the third before Erat and Sullivan answered. Erat's second goal of the game came 32 seconds after Cajanek scored and Sullivan notched his 17th score of the season with an empty-netter with less than two minutes left.

The game continued a physical battle the two teams have had for most of their games this season. The Blues received the only penalty in a first period that was filled with hard hits and led to a second period that saw 16 penalty minutes.

The teams traded quick scores in the first. Scott Hartnell scored his team-high 19th to give Nashville a 1-0 lead only to see the Blues tie the score 13 seconds later on Lee Stempniak's 16th of the season. Hartnell got past Eric Brewer to tap it past Sanford off assists from Shea Weber and Ryan Suter.

The public address announcer didn't have time to recap the score before the Blues struck back. As they went into the Nashville zone, Stempniak passed the puck to Jay McClement who returned it to a wide-open Stempniak who knocked in the tying goal.

Notes

  • Nashville recalled D Mikko Lehtonen and reassigned F Alexander Radulov to Milwaukee of the AHL.
  • The Blues announced a crowd of 16,346, marking the first time since the lockout they have had at least 16,000 in three consecutive games.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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 Predators goalie Chris Mason stops a shot against the Blues, allowing Nashville to rally for the win.  (AP)
Predators goalie Chris Mason stops a shot against the Blues, allowing Nashville to rally for the win. (AP)

Scoreboard
Nashville  (36-12-3) «1326
St. Louis (20-22-8)2013
Three Stars
S. Sullivan
NSH


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
J. Arnott
NSH


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
L. Stempniak
STL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
04:58Scott Hartnell (19), Slap Shot - Assists: Shea Weber, Ryan Suter
05:11Lee Stempniak (15), Slap Shot - Assist: Jay McClement
15:21Radek Dvorak (7), Backhand Shot - Assists: David Backes, Keith Tkachuk
2ND PERIOD
02:15Power Play - Steve Sullivan (15), Wrist Shot - Assists: Paul Kariya, Jason Arnott
05:45Jason Arnott (17), Wrist Shot - Assists: Steve Sullivan, J.P. Dumont
19:00Martin Erat (11), Wrist Shot - Assists: Paul Kariya, David Legwand
3RD PERIOD
16:10Petr Cajanek (8), Tip-In - Assists: Eric Brewer, Bill Guerin
16:42Martin Erat (12), Backhand Shot - Assists: David Legwand, Paul Kariya
18:05Steve Sullivan (16), Empty Net - Assists: Ryan Suter, Kimmo Timonen
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:46King: Interference - 2 min.
2ND PERIOD
00:17Jackman: Holding - 2 min.
01:32Mayers: Hooking - 2 min.
11:57Weight: Holding - 2 min.
14:41Smithson: Roughing - 2 min.
14:41Smithson: Roughing - 2 min.
14:41Guerin: Roughing - 2 min.
14:41Guerin: Roughing - 2 min.
16:47Legwand: Hooking - 2 min.
3RD PERIOD
02:55Fiddler: High sticking - 2 min.
06:51Backman: Holding - 2 min.
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123T
Nashville109524
St. Louis1051429
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Chris Mason60:00263
Curtis Sanford59:00185
Game Information
Attendance - 16346
Referees - Wes McCauley, Brad Meier
Linesmen - Don Henderson, Brian Mach
 
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NYR 2 Final
Phi 1
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Ott 3
Mon 1 Final
Tor 4
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NYI 5
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Fla 4
Pitt 7 Final
Pho 2
LA 3 Final
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