Nashville wanted to finish their season-long roadtrip with a bang. They were able to do that plus more against defensively-stingy St. Louis this evening. On top of an X save 1-goal performance by Pekka Rinne, Nashville scored goals from 6 different players beating the St. Louis Blues 6-1 to stretch their winning streak to 3 games.
Colin Wilson’s 3 assists led the way statistically for the Predators as they finished the road trip 4-2-1 and their record moved to 4-2-3 on the season, one point behind the St. Louis Blues for 2nd in the division.
Tonight’s contest was the third time Nashville had scored 6 goals on the Blues all time, their highest goal total against St. Louis. The Predators didn’t take too long to get on the board either, as Ryan Ellis started the scoring only 2:10 into the first. Then, with less than five minutes left in the first, Rich Clune would score his first career goal which would ultimately be held as the game-winner too, making the score 2-0. Nick Spaling would make it 3-0 before the period ended with a wristshot through close traffic.
The Predators didn’t let up after the first period, which was a great sight to see for an offensively-starved team like Nashville. Cashing in two more goals in a span of 60 seconds, Kevin Klein and Gabriel Bourque put themselves on the score sheet stretching the lead to 5-0 and ending the night for Blues goaltender Brian Elliott after the fourth goal and rudely starting Jake Allen’s evening.
The Blues would finally get on the board 3 minutes later with a powerplay marker, Nashville would hold them off for the remainder of the game and net another goal as well.
While Nashville was held to only 19 shots on net and gave up 32 towards Pekka Rinne, the Predators made their shots count and broke through from their goal-scoring drought. Colin Wilson and Jon Blum easily had their best games of the season. While Wilson has been playing great hockey all year, Blum has just been re-inserted back into the lineup. Blum and Ryan Ellis looked marvelous paired with each other on the powerplay and Blum, in my opinion, easily had his best game with Nashville since the Anaheim playoff series of 2010.
With the Predators coming home for a Thursday night tilt with Los Angeles before heading out to Minnesota on Saturday and back home for a long home-stretch, Nashville needed as many points as they could on the roadtrip and came away with 9 of 14 points. The Kings will get their early rematch with the Predators just 7 days after being outlasted in an 8-round shootout.
Can Nashville bring their offensive explosion back home to meet with the Kings on Thursday? We’ll find out, but the Predators need to keep up their winning ways to stay on pace in the Western Conference.
Powerplay – 1 for 2, 50%
Penalty Kill – 4 for 5, 80%
Best Play of the Game: Colin Wilson streamlines through two Blues defenders, gets a shot past Jake Allen where Bourque bangs it home to make it 5-0
Worst Play of the Game: Nashville took a handful of penalties in the second period, finally getting burned by Alex Pietrangelo to make it 5-1
My Three Stars:
#1: – Pekka Rinne
#2: – Colin Wilson
#3: – Martin Erat
See you Thursday night as the Predators come home to take on the Kings. Game is at 7:00pm CT. I’ll be available pre-game and in between periods if you feel like chatting