The first period did not go Nashville’s way in Thursday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Blues at Bridgestone Arena.
In 20 minutes of play, the Predators managed just 6 shots on goal, were 6 of 15 in the faceoff circle and trailed St. Louis 2-1.
“Everyone’s pretty much getting in playoff mode here,” Nashville forward Brandon Yip said. “When you play a rival in the same division as St. Louis is to us, it’s going to be a playoff mentality. It was tonight.”
At 2:53 of the second period, Matt Halischuk tipped a puck into Brandon Yip who then passed to Roman Josi. Josi ripped the puck past an unexpecting Jaroslav Halak to tie the game at 1.
“I knew he was coming with me and he was going to be open,” Yip said. “I just kind of faked the shot and slid it to him and he made a nice shot to put it away.”
The goal was Josi’s third of the year and his first since December 22 against Columbus. For Yip, it was his second assist and third point since joining the Predators on January 19.
“It was a great pass,” Josi said. “It was pretty hard and right to my stick. I don’t think the goalie was expecting it. All I had to do was put it to the net. It was a great play by him.”
For the Predators, the Josi goal seemed to light a fire of sorts as the team fired off 11 shots and scored 2 goals in the second period. Later in the second, Nashville would actually take the lead from St. Louis before letting the Blues score 34 seconds later.
“We were struggling a little bit up until that point,” Yip said. “We had a few good shifts early in the second and then we had a little bit of momentum. We had a quick goal not too long after that. Unfortunately, they got a quick one to tie it back up.”
For the Predators, the game ended as a 3-point bout – St. Louis earned 2 points, Nashville earned 1. Yip felt that the slow performance in the first period cost the team and that they not only gave up one point in the standings – they likely gave up 2.
“I think we gave it up a little there because we had such a slow start in the first,” Yip said. “We got to our game in the second and third. If we would have had a better start, we would have come out on top.”