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Post-Game Musings: at St. Louis

Tuesday, 03.27.2012 / 9:55 PM CT / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Post-Game Musings: at St. Louis
The St. Louis Blues got timely goal scoring from Jamie Langenbrunner, David Perron, and TJ Oshie and clamped down defensively to shut out the Preds 3-0 on Tuesday night. The Blues out-hit the Preds 24-17 and used their size advantage to create several quality offensive chances off the cycle. Perron, Oshie, and David Backes seemed to get stronger as the game went on, causing issues for Nashville’s defense later in the game.

With tonight’s results the Preds remain in fifth place in the Western Conference one point behind Detroit for the No. 4 seed and three points ahead of Chicago for the No. 5 seed, Nashville’s two opponents in this weekend’s back-to-back set (Friday at Detroit, Saturday home for Chicago).

Now on to the musings…

THREE MUSINGS:
Proving His Worth: A major influence in the Preds interest in Hal Gill at the Trade Deadline was to allow the team to better match-up against teams with big physical skilled forwards like St. Louis. In two games against the Blues since joining Nashville, Gill registered 4 hits and 8 blocks with a +1 plus/minus rating, including 6 blocked shots in tonight’s game. Further, Gill was the only Preds defenseman not on the ice for a goal against tonight.

Energy from the Energy Line: Gabriel Bourque and Matt Halischuk – paired with either Nick Spaling or Paul Gaustad at center – provided the Preds with some of their best scoring chances during the first two periods. Pre-game Coach Trotz said success against the Blues would be more contingent on out-working St. Louis than trying to out-skill St. Louis; Bourque/Halischuk kept the play simple and worked hard tonight; as a result they gave the Preds successful shifts, especially through the first two periods.

Radulov the Playmaker: Alexander Radulov was in the middle of the majority of Nashville’s best scoring chances tonight, but more as a creative playmaker than as a sniper. In the middle of the first period, he, Legwand, and Hornqvist combined with defenseman Hal Gill to create two bang-bang scoring opportunities. At the tail end of the second period, on a line with Fisher and Sergei Kostitsyn, Radulov nearly combined with Shea Weber to even the score. In the third period, shortly after St. Louis made the score 2-0, Radulov created a turnover on the forecheck and then slithered around the Blues defense to set up Ryan Ellis alone at the far point for a dangerous blast with traffic in front of the net and again in the final moments of the game, Radulov’s creativity --- combined with Hornqvist’s banging along the boards --- nearly converted for the Preds.


THREE STARS:
1) STL F Alex Steen – 1 assist, 3 shots on goal, 9 attempted shots; was creative, especially early in the game while the teams were feeling each other out
2) STL G Brian Elliott – 24 saves for the shutout; made key saves when the result was in doubt
3) STL F David Backes – 2 assists; was strong on the puck and became increasingly more noticeable as the game wore on

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 55 35 16 4 153 127 74
2 DAL 52 33 14 5 169 137 71
3 STL 54 29 17 8 128 128 66
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 50 27 19 4 145 132 58
6 COL 54 27 23 4 146 148 58
7 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
8 NSH 52 24 20 8 130 137 56
9 MIN 51 23 19 9 126 122 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 51 20 19 12 119 138 52
12 CGY 50 22 25 3 130 147 47
13 WPG 51 22 26 3 132 148 47
14 EDM 52 21 26 5 130 151 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 52 10 27 -4 37
S. Weber 52 13 20 -6 33
J. Neal 52 18 13 16 31
M. Ribeiro 52 6 25 1 31
F. Forsberg 52 14 16 -9 30
M. Ekholm 52 6 16 1 22
R. Ellis 51 6 15 0 21
C. Smith 52 11 6 -1 17
C. Wilson 36 4 12 0 16
C. Jarnkrok 51 8 7 -3 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 19 17 7 .903 2.51
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36