NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Former Nashville goalie Chris Mason made himself right at home - at the Predators' expense.
Mason made 37 saves, and Brad Boyes, David Backes and Paul Kariya scored in the St. Louis Blues' 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Friday night.
"It was emotional," Mason said. "The Predators are known for their work ethic. That's what puts them above other teams. They never quit. If the ref doesn't blow the whistle their players are not going to stop."
With the victory, the Blues ended the Predators' winning streak at seven and also snapped their home winning streak at seven.
"Now we are on a one-game losing streak," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "The most important game of the season is Saturday night, plain and simple.
"We've got to start another winning streak. You don't want to go backwards at all. We will show our maturity in the way we respond these next couple of nights."
Dave Scatchard scored for Nashville. The Predators were 0 for 5 on the power play.
"We knew that they were hot on the power play," Mason said. "We knew the power play had been a big part of their recent winning streak. First of all, we wanted to stay out of the box. We took a few penalties, but the penalty kill did a great job."
Boyes opened the scoring with 1:25 left second period, taking a backhand shot from the left side that bounced off goalie Pekka Rinne's shoulder. Backes scored at 6:23 of the third, skating across in front of the net and firing a slap shot past Rinne.
"There was a lot of traffic," St. Louis coach Andy Murray said. "There were a lot of bodies going to the net. We had lots of other chances where we should have scored. Rinne made some magnificent saves. It is just a matter of getting bodies to the net and putting the puck there."
Scatchard, recalled from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League on Thursday, scored his first NHL goal of the season with 6:35 left, beating Mason off a rebound.
"He was going for the puck and he whacked my glove," Mason said. "I don't know what the ruling is on that. You go to the net hard and good things happen for you I guess."
Kariya iced the game with 4:37 to go. Laying face-down on the ice midway in the slot, he shot the puck past Rinne to his stick side.
"It was a just a good play by them," Rinne said. "Paul Kariya made a good shot."
NOTES: The Predators wore their black and blue alternate jerseys for the first time. ... Both teams were coming off 4-3 shootout wins on the road Wednesday night. ... Blues defenseman Erik Johnson has two goals and three assists in his last five games.
Head Coach Barry Trotz
On Chris Mason’s play tonight…
He was good. We just didn’t bury our chances. I didn’t think we were as sharp today. I don’t want to take anything away from the Blues – they capitalized on their chances.
On not scoring a power play goal…
The power play has been really good. They’ve carried us. We haven’t scored a lot 5-on-5. They did a good job on the penalty kill – we had our chances. We weren’t able to capitalize on the loose pucks. Some nights they go in and tonight they didn’t go in for us.
On ending a seven-game winning streak…
We rattled off seven in a row, and now we’re on a one-game losing streak. The most important game of the season is tomorrow night, plain and simple. We’ve got to start another winning streak; win the next game. You don’t want to go backwards at all.
We’ll show our maturity in the way that we respond in these next couple of nights. The combined road record of the three teams we’re playing tonight, tomorrow and Monday, is 18-6-7. That’s pretty good. It’s 19-6-7 now. For whatever reason, they seem to put their game together on the road, so we have to be really good at home. We’re a good home team, but tonight we weren’t as good as we needed to be.
On Nashville’s energy level…
We didn’t have the jump we needed to. We didn’t do the things we wanted to do – we did it in spurts, and we’ve got to do it on a more consistent basis. We lost the game and now we’ve got to go forward and win the game tomorrow.
I didn’t think we had the zip in some of our “compete” areas; we didn’t play as hard. They beat us to a few more pucks, they played a little harder than us in areas. In the end, it’s a game of inches, and they won a few more inches than us tonight.
Forward Steve Sullivan
On having momentum during tonight’s game…
You need it to be the difference. Tonight we had a lot of chances. If you’re not going to score, then you need to create momentum for your hockey club and you need to create chances. You need the energy level in order to get everyone into the game.
On St. Louis’ penalty kill…
Their penalty kill just stifled us tonight. They created some momentum with that, really giving us nothing. They were a huge threat to us during our power plays.
On playing against one-time Predator Chris Mason…
He sees the ice very well. He’s a battler and makes great saves. We had a lot of pucks close to going in and he was great. We have to go back out and get some motivation.
Defenseman Ryan Suter
On playing against one-time Predator Chris Mason…
He made some great saves and they got lucky. Hey, it’s part of the game. When you work hard, you get lucky – and he’s been working hard. He’s a great goalie. He shut us down for sure.
On getting back on the ice for Saturday’s match-up against Florida…
We’ve just got to get out there again and get another win.
Goaltender Pekka Rinne
On taking on Florida in tomorrow’s match-up…
Everyone knows that we can play better and it obviously gives us a great chance to come back and get back to our own game.
On St. Louis’ third goal tonight, taking the score to 3-1…
It was just good play by them. Paul Kariya made a good shot.
On seeming to be out-of-sync from the beginning of play…
Well, it’s always our fault when we are at home and we have to be able to dictate the game. Tonight we just didn’t have it together, but we did battle hard. We had a lot of chances and the guys played a great game.
On being disappointed that the winning streak ended tonight…
It’s always disappointing. It was just one of those games. It’s just funny how it goes sometimes.