All it would take is the goal tallied by T.J. Oshie on the PP in the first period to win the game for the St. Louis Blues at ScottTrade Center. They would go on to score on a penalty shot and another Tarasenko goal to ice the game with a marker in each period of play.
St. Louis has been possibly the toughest team for anyone to play so far in the early season. The Blues have won 3 out of 4 games and in their only loss to Chicago, the Blues made it interesting in the third period losing 3-2 after trailing 3-0.
The best comparison one could make in this game is that playing Hitchcock’s defensive system is a lot like playing someone in a game of checkers that refuses to move his back row. It is frustrating, grating and tiresome and leads to huge mistakes that are easily jumped upon by the Blues offense. There was not one instance where the Predators had an odd man rush going into the St. Louis zone and the defensemen lead by Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo stifled any progress in the neutral zone or past the blueline. Also, Tarasenko continues to be deadly scoring another against Nashville tonight bringing his point total to 4 against the Predators. Sooner or later, the Predators will need to address this player as he is, as Terry Crisp pointed out, “starting to become like another Dany Heatley against the Preds.”
Halak gets the shutout, but similar to their opening night game against the Red Wings, Halak wasn’t called upon to stop many shots. 13 shots on goal was all Nashville could muster against St. Louis as the Predators consistently shot the puck over the net, wide of the net or didn’t take a shot. Yip stood out tonight for his solid play and ability to wrestle the puck free and get to open areas, but for all his effort he managed only 2 shots on goal. Advanced stats from the game will probably show Yip missing another 3-4 shots on net and Weber who leads the team in SOG only registered 1.
-Oshie scores on the PP at 12:59 of the first period, the Predators would go on have only 2 shots on goal in the first 17 minutes of play.
-Penalty Shot awarded to and scored by Patrik Berglund at 9:26 in the second period, Predators had a combined 7 SOG in the first and second period.
-Vladimir Tarasenko scores to make it 3-0 at 9:04 of the third period, Predators left the back door wide open for a streaking Tarasenko and Steen fed it perfectly for the score.
Powerplay – 0 for 4, 0%
Penalty Kill – 3 for 4, 75%
Best Play of the Game: Not really anything except Ellis’ play tonight was top notch. He is learning much on body positioning and corner work from his defensive partner Hal Gill.
Worst Play of the Game: The Predators leaving Tarasenko unmolested and streaking free to the goal for the score. Honorable mention to the horrible back check that led to Berglund breaking free and Fisher having to take a trip to stop him that led to the 2-0 penalty shot.
My Three Stars:
#1: – Patrik Berglund
#2: – Vladimir Tarasenko
#3: – Jaroslav Halak
See you Saturday night as the Predators travel to Anaheim to take on Ducks in the third game of this 7-game road trip. Game is at 9:30pm CT