Post-Game Musings: at St. Louis

Tuesday, 03.27.2012 / 10:55 PM / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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