Dec 30, 2011; St. Louis, MO, USA; Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) makes a save on a shootout attempt by St. Louis Blues center David Backes (42) during the shootout at the Scottrade Center. The Predators defeated the Blues 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Blues Bounce Back Against Predators

After a tough loss to the Bruins on Wednesday night, the Blues redeemed themselves by putting down Nashville 3-2 in a shootout on Thursday night. St. Louis, who had not registered a win against Nashville this season (0-2-2), were outshot and out-hit by the Predators, but were able to get the victory through stellar goaltending. The win puts the Blues comfortably in the 4th seed, 4 points ahead of Nashville, and only 4 points behind the Central Division leading Detroit Red Wings.

The Blues were led by goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who recorded his first road win of the season on Thursday night. He came up especially big in the shootout, blanking both Predator shooters. This was also Halak’s 100th NHL victory. T.J Oshie and Andy McDonald struck the back of the net in the shootout, giving the Blues the quick 2-0 margin, and securing the win for St. Louis. In regulation, the Blues got goals from Chris Stewart, who has scored in consecutive games for the first time this season, and Vladimir Sobatka, who has responded positively to his move up to the second attack line.

The game could prove to be a preview of the first-round playoff matchup that could easily figure the 4th-seeded Blues and 5th-seeded Predators. That is a series that could send one team home and the other limping into the next round, as these two teams both play very physical styles. In their last two meetings, the teams have combined for 88 hits, and have had 3 out of 5 games go to a shootout. Either way, this division rivalry is one of the most hard fought and entertaining matchups in the NHL right now.

Tags: Andy McDonald Boston Bruins Chris Stewart Detroit Red Wings Jaroslav Halak Nashville Predators St. Louis Blues T.J. Oshie Vladimir Sobotka

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