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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 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Wilson 14 5 8 8 13
R. Josi 14 1 8 -6 9
R. Johansen 14 4 4 0 8
J. Neal 14 4 4 1 8
M. Fisher 14 5 2 -1 7
M. Ekholm 14 3 4 2 7
S. Weber 14 3 4 -7 7
R. Ellis 14 0 6 0 6
F. Forsberg 14 2 2 -11 4
M. Salomaki 14 1 1 2 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 7 7 0 .906 2.63
C. Hutton 0 0 0 .667 3.00