Predators take 2-1 series lead, beating St. Louis Blues 3-1

Predators take 2-1 series lead, beating St. Louis Blues 3-1

They also have never rallied from an 0-2 deficit to win a series.

It has been awhile since St. Louis had that kind of clunker, but this is not the time of year you want it to creep back in. But it couldn't clear the zone as Nashville cycled the puck for so long that it was able to execute a line change.

Rinne outdueled St Louis' Jake Allen with 32 saves as the Predators moved to within a victory from reaching the Western Conference final for the first time in franchise history.

"It was awesome today", Laviolette said.

Game 3 saw the Blues get bullied. "That's basically the starting point".

When you think about the great defensemen who've played for the Nashville Predators, you think of those who've left (Shea Weber, Ryan Suter) and those who picked up the torch (P.K. Subban, Roman Josi).

A healthy scratch for Games 2 through 4 in the first round series with the Wild, veteran center Jori Lehtera has three points (one goal, two assists) in the two games since returning to the lineup. That goal came shortly after the Blues killed their third penalty of the game.

If the Blues hope to escape Nashville with a split in the series, Yeo must find out which of his role players will be as committed as the Predators. The Nashville forecheck (led by Viktor Arvidsson) picked up the puck with 7:08 on the clock and didn't lose possession of it until Josi's shot hit the twine. "I'm playing with pretty good players, too".

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Nashville's other goal further epitomized why it's 6-1 in this postseason.

ABOUT THE PREDATORS (46-30-8-4 SU, 45-43 ATS, 42-36 O/U): Despite its inability to hold the third-period lead and the fact that Nashville put St. Louis on the power play five times without having one of its own in Game 2, a bright spot was provided by forward James Neal.

Meanwhile, Blues fans say the team needs to not pay attention to the buzz building in Nashville.

Neal supplied the eventual game-winner when he won a puck near the top of the right circle, spun and ripped a wrister over Allen's stick side at 13:03 for his second tally of the postseason.

The Oilers dominated in the second period, and they tied the score via goals by Anton Slepyshev and Connor McDavid.

Taking Game 3 in such dramatic fashion was exactly what Anaheim needed, even though the argument can be made that any type of win would have sufficed, seeing as it would've prevented the Oilers from threatening to sweep. Yeo took Alexander Steen off their line midway through Game 3 and replaced him with Ryan Reaves, who usually plays on the fourth line. They matched the Predators' intensity, and Allen matched Rinne to keep the game scoreless.

Not all postseason goalies see a similar fate, but when you're stopping 18 of 19 shots from the high-danger zone like Rinne did in Game 4, it isn't too hard to figure out who the first star of the game is. The next game will be a bit bigger, but this one will allow them to gain a lead on the series and take some confidence away from the Blues. "We knew that coming in it's a huge game".