Erat scores lone goal of shootout as Predators beat Blues 2-1 to reach 100 points for seasonBy Teresa M. Walker, AP
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Erat scores, Predators beat Blues 2-1 in shootout
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Martin Erat scored the lone goal of the shootout, and the Nashville Predators beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 on Saturday night.
The Predators finished the regular season by winning three of four and reaching 100 points. They have a chance to finish as high as fifth in the Western Conference but will need Chicago to beat Detroit, and Colorado to down Los Angeles on Sunday to avoid falling as far as seventh.
Jason Arnott scored the regulation goal for Nashville, which won the season series with St. Louis 5-1. Pekka Rinne stopped David Perron and Andy McDonald, and Brad Boyes missed in his last chance to continue the shootout.
Steve Sullivan missed the puck on Nashville’s first shot and tried to tap it in on a second try, but that is not allowed. Erat, skating second, beat Ty Conklin’s glove for the win.
David Backes scored St. Louis’ lone goal.
This was the seventh time in 13 games the Predators had gone to overtime and they went 6-1 in those games. They went to the shootout when David Legwand just missed outside the post on a rush with just over a minute left in overtime. Conklin blocked Arnott’s shot with 30 seconds remaining.
Keith Tkachuk sat out one night after he played at home in St. Louis, marking his final NHL game after 19 seasons. St. Louis also scratched defenseman Barret Jackman and center T.J. Oshie among others. The Blues went young, starting started prospects Lars Eller and Jonas Junland.
That seemingly made it easier for Nashville to finish the regular season with a win.
The Predators came out sluggish and the Blues scrapped for the puck all over the ice. Rinne sent the game into the first intermission at 0-0 with a glove save on Alex Steen’s backhander after a breakaway attempt in the final seconds.
Conklin helped kill all three Nashville power plays.
But Arnott put Nashville up 1-0 with a snap shot from the slot at 5:26 of the third off an assist from Shea Weber for his 19th this season.
Backes answered with 10:18 gone, snapping his own shot behind Rinne from between the goal line and the left circle on a nice pass from Boyes from the right circle for his 17th.
Rinne made a kick save on Paul Kariya who took a pass for a 1-on-2 breakaway with about five minutes left. He stopped Kariya again a couple minutes later. Rinne then stopped Matt D’Agostini with 38.8 seconds left in regulation.
NOTES: Nashville had three players appear in all 82 games this season with Legwand, the franchise leader with 704 games played, Ryan Suter (203) and Steve Sullivan (122). … Blake Geoffrion played in the NCAA Frozen Four on Saturday night for Wisconsin, but the Predators’ second-round draft pick from 2006 drew a huge ovation from the crowd during the first stoppage with the announcement of his Hobey Baker award win.
Tags: Frozen Four, Men's Hockey, Nashville, North America, Professional Hockey, Tennessee, United States