The St. Louis Blues hosted a Central Division foe, the Nashville Predators, after being edged by the Colorado Avalanche in a shootout on Friday. With Nashville and St. Louis fighting for the third-place playoff seed, this game was very important.
Vladimir Tarasenko gave Blues fans something to cheer about 5:22 into the game. Jaden Schwartz dished the puck to Vlad, who sent it past the Predator’s goalkeeper, Juuse Saros. Tarasenko’s 37th of the season gave the Blues an early lead.
Ryan Johansen knotted it up midway through the first period after a controversial penalty called on the David Perron. Despite the questionable officiating, St. Louis escaped the first period tied with the Predators.
“It’s tough to start that way,” explained Alex Pietrangelo on the two 5-on-3s they fought through.
Just 0:55 into the second period, Alexander Steen sparked some Blues’ offensive momentum. David Perron centered the puck to Steen, who netted his 15th of the season to make it 2-1.
Perron scored a highlight-reel goal a few minutes later. He maneuvered around P.K. Subban before ripping it over Saros’ right pad to extend their lead to 3-1.
Although the Predators outshot the Blues 22 to 15 after two periods, St. Louis headed into the final period with a two-goal lead.
Edmundson was up next. He entered the offensive zone and fired a low shot, then knocked in his own rebound to make it 4-1 with 11:49 remaining in regulation.
St. Louis finished strong with a final score of 4-1. Jake Allen stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced.
Since the Blues and Predators are fighting for playoff positions, it was basically a must-win if the Blues hope to finish third in the Central Division.
“It’s a four-point game so it’s nice to come out on top,” said Perron.
“This team rises to the occasion. I wasn’t surprised by the effort," explained Pietrangelo. "I thought, emotionally, we were very invested. We did a really good job of getting into the game.”
In their last 15 games, the St. Louis Blues have earned 26 of 30 possible points (12-2-1).