After exchanging goals in the first period, Nashville and St. Louis deliver a scoreless second period, a scoreless third period, and a scoreless overtime to force a decisive shootout once again between the two teams.
Pekka Rinne did it again.
Stopping all 5 Blues shooters and getting a 5th round goal from Martin Erat against Jaroslav Halak, Rinne and the Predators walk out of St. Louis with 2 big points in the Western Conference race and finish 2011 on a winning note.
The first period started off with quite a bang as the Predators came out as though someone had lit the proverbial fire under them. Only 2:16 into the period, Roman Josi finds a loose puck on the right boards before pushing it to Halak who mishandled it. That’s when Matt Halischuk popped the puck into the back of the net giving Nashville the 1-0 lead.
The Preds would hold St. Louis off the board for nearly the remainder of the period, yet a scrum in front of the Nashville net delivered enough confusion to where a loose puck fired by T.J. Oshie wasn’t scene in time by Pekka Rinne, giving the Blues the equalizer at 13:40 of the first period.
After trading chances back and forth in scoreless second and third periods (including a shorthanded breakaway for Martin Erat), Nashville and St. Louis went to an overtime period. Even though it was a scoreless overtime frame as well, both teams equally gave their fans a heart attack by nearly ending the game multiple times. Yet, it wasn’t in the books for tonight, a shootout would have to decide it.
With Halak and Rinne going against each other in a shootout for the second game in a row in the series, it would seem only fitting that a 1-1 game would end that way. After 5 rounds, Martin Erat earned his redemption after missing his breakaway attempt and Nashville would get the very well deserved two points in front of a sellout Scottrade Center crowd of 19,150.
Powerplay – 0 for 2, 0%
Penalty Kill – 4 for 4, 100%
Best Play of the Game: Martin Erat redeems himself in the shootout after missing on his shorthanded breakaway attempt. Erat in, roofs it high on Halak, and gives Nashville a BIG two points.
Worst Play of the Game: Jon Blum blows a tire on a routine icing touch-up, giving St. Louis a prime scoring chance late in the game. Although it was saved by Rinne, it was still arguably the worst play of the game
My Three Stars:
#1: – Pekka Rinne – 35 saves on 36 attempts (+5 Shootout Saves). Pekka has won 2 straight games where he’s only allowed 1 goal in each. Safe to say that Rinne has gained his confidence back?
#2: – Jaroslav Halak – 33 saves on 34 attempts (+4 Shootout Saves). Tough loss on Halak tonight, but he gave it his all in a losing effort for the Blues
#3: – Martin Erat – 0g, 0a, -1, 1 Shootout goal. Erat redeemed himself in the shootout getting the Predators a huge 2 points in the tough Western Conference
Stay tuned to The Predatorial Sunday morning for the gameday preview of the Flames game!
Stay frosty, friends.