Nashville Kills Five Penalties in Victory Over Blues

The Predators finished 5-of-6 shorthanded in Saturday night's shootout victory.

David Legwand scored the shootout winner in Nashville's 2-1 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night. (Sarah Fuqua)

The Nashville Predators picked up two points against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville’s 2-1 shootout victory was due in large part to the performance of the team’s penalty kill.

The Predators were shorthanded 6 times against the Blues, while the Blues only took one penalty – a meaningless two minute charging call against Matt D’Agostini as overtime expired.

Despite being shorthanded so often, Nashville only allowed one goal – a TJ Oshie tally in the third period on a botched Predators line change – on the fifth St. Louis power play attempt.

“Obviously we took more penalties than we would have liked,” Nashville forward Matt Halischuk said. “When they scored that one late, it kind of hurt, but we stuck with it. Overall, we had a pretty good night other than the goal.”

Halischuk played for 2:35 of the team’s 10:42 of shorthanded time. While far below the franchise record of 13 shorthanded situations, the fact that St. Louis kept getting power plays and Nashville did not left the Predators playing on their heels for a large portion of the game.

“It definitely gets you into the game if you’re a penalty killer, but that stuff happens,” Halischuk said. “Sometimes you get in those modes where the penalties keep coming. I thought we did a pretty good job handling it. Pekka made some great saves and it really starts there.”

“You just have to stay with it,” Halischuk said. Certain guys have to get out there more on the (penalty kill). The first shift after the penalty is a big one. You can use that to get the momentum back.”

A large portion of the penalty kill’s success on Saturday night rested in the hands of Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne. Rinne saved 39 of 40 St. Louis shots on the night, including 6 of 7 while Nashville was shorthanded.

“He was unbelievable as always,” Halischuk said. “He’s our guy back there and we look to him to make big saves. He doesn’t let us down when we’re on the (penalty kill).”

Nashville head coach Barry Trotz was slightly vexed by the disparity in the penalties between the two teams.

“I thought there was a lot of clutching and grabbing on (the Blues’) part – a lot of stickwork,” Trotz said. “I thought surely they’re not Snow White in terms of the way they played. I thought surely we’d get a power play today, but obviously the referees didn’t see that our way. The (penalty kill) stepped up. Going five out of six, they did a really good job and had a good chance to be six-of-six if we hadn’t had that bad line change.”

PuckScene.com Three Stars of the Game
  1. Pekka Rinne – Nashville Predators
  2. Martin Erat – Nashville Predators
  3. Jaroslav Halak – St. Louis Blues

Official Three Stars of the Game
  1. Pekka Rinne – Nashville Predators
  2. Martin Erat – Nashville Predators
  3. TJ Oshie – St. Louis Blues

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A native of Franklin, Tennessee, Patten Fuqua is the managing editor of PuckScene.com. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Belmont University in Journalism and Broadcasting.