ST. LOUIS (AP) The Nashville Predators had been waiting for a break to go their way to help the team shake its November malaise. It didn’t take long to generate momentum Saturday night.
Filip Forsberg scored 20 seconds into the game and Juuse Saros made 24 saves to help the Predators snap a six-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues.
“We’re trying to get that one (victory) and we got it,” left wing Austin Watson said. “When you’re in it rough like that, like we were, that first one is hard to get. It feels like it eludes you no matter what you do, so credit to everybody in here from staff to players.”
Mattias Ekholm, Colton Sissons and Calle Jarnkrok also scored for Nashville, which won in St. Louis for the first time since December 2017.
Saros improved to 2-5-1 this season with his first win since Oct. 26 at Tampa Bay.
“I thought the guys played hard and invested a lot and got the win, so I thought it was important,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “The guys have been working hard and the results came tonight.”
Klim Kostin and Alex Pietrangelo scored for the Blues. Jordan Binnington made 39 saves two nights after stopping 40 shots in a 5-0 victory over Calgary.
St. Louis was outshot 22-9 in the first period, and the 43 shots allowed marked a season high for the defending Stanley Cup champions.
“We didn’t close anything out in our own end,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “We’ve got to play better defense. We’ve got to play harder. We’ve just got to play better."
Forsberg set the tone early when he put Viktor Arvidsson’s rebound past Binnington for his 10th goal and fifth in eight games.
Ekholm gave Nashville a 2-0 lead with his fourth of the season. His shot ricocheted off Blues defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Justin Faulk before glancing off Binnington’s blocker and into the net.
Kostin put St. Louis on the scoreboard with his first career goal 14:55 into the first.
Sissons extended Nashville’s lead to 3-1 when he pushed a puck lying in the crease underneath Binnington’s pad with 1:26 remaining in the period.
"You start the first shift and you get a goal right away and you get a couple more in the first, it helps,” said Predators defenseman Roman Josi. “We haven’t been great in the first. It gives you that momentum for the whole game.”
Pietrangelo cut St. Louis’ deficit to 3-2 on a power-play goal with 3:08 left in the third. The goal was the 100th of his NHL career.
Jarnkrok scored an empty-net goal with 31 seconds to go.
“Any time we play these guys it’s a tough game,” Pietrangelo said. “That’s just the reality of it. We expected a big push, they had one - especially when you haven’t won in a while.”
NOTES: Arvidsson skated in his 300th career game. He exited with a lower body injury after being cross-checked into the St. Louis net by Robert Bortuzzo, who was not penalized on the play. Bortuzzo, however, faces a player safety hearing Sunday, the NHL tweeted. ... Blues RW Troy Brouwer was scratched for the second straight game as he awaits his work visa. … Blues LW Jacob de la Rose played his 200th NHL game.
The teams face each other again Monday night in Nashville. Their remaining two meetings will also come in back-to-back games Feb. 15-16.
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