Revenge was the name of the game in Nashville.
Losing two weeks ago to the Predators for their only regulation loss thus far, the Blues came out looking like they wanted the victory tonight. After a rocky start for both teams that saw the puck bounce every play, the first period produced 15 Blues shots and 8 Predator shots. But the story of the period came at about the 8:14 mark when Patrick Hornqvist took a bobbling puck from Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo’s stick and came in on Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak 1-on-1. He took the shot and Halak was ready with the big mit and robbed the Predators forward with a huge save to keep the game scoreless.
After Alex Pietrangelo hit the post late in the first period, Patrik Berglund skated the puck in on an odd-man rush near the middle of the second period and hit yet another post. He ripped a shot from the right face-off circle that beat Predators goalie Pekka Rinne over his right shoulder, but the puck hit off the pipe and flew to the far boards out of the reach of any of Berglund’s teammates.
Shortly after, both teams took penalties at different times. Nashville had their penalty end, but the puck was still controlled down low in their end by Blues forwards Alex Steen and David Perron. On a great set-up, Perron took the puck behind the net and slid it in front to a wide-open Steen in front of the net, who slid the puck through Rinne for the first goal of the game and his first goal of the season.
“He keeps shooting them,” Bernie Federko said at intermission, “they are going to keep going in.”
That was definitely the case for Berglund.
After hitting the post and getting stoned by Rinne earlier in the period, Berglund had another good chance at 12:48 of the third. After a shot from teammate Brad Boyes, Berglund was there for the rebound to fire a shot home past Rinne and teammate Andy McDonald parked in front of the goal. It was Berglund’s fourth tally of the season. Remember, this guy had just seven last year. Just sayin’.
The very next play, everyone’s favorite skating monkey flew in on Colaiacovo behind the Blues net and crunched the Blues defenseman into the boards head first. Jordin Tootoo received a five-minute major at 13:11, which gave the Blues an extended power-play. Colaiacovo did not return to the ice.
Matt D’Agostini wanted in on the action too.
On the power-play, D’Agostini skated in front of the Nashville net as David Backes slid the puck to him in front of the net. Oshie had the additional assist for the Blues’ goal at 15:15.
Jaroslav Halak received the star of the game honors, as he had his second of back-to-back shutouts with 24 saves. His counterpart, Rinne, made 31 saves on 34 shots.
"We feel so confident with him back there because he's so cool, calm and collected," teammate Erik Johnson said of Halak. "We know we can go on offence and he'll be back there if we have any hiccups. He has been a great, great asset for us."
“I don’t really think about it coming into this game that I had a shutout before,” the Blues’ Slovakian netminder said after the victory. “But I’m just going to the game to help the guys win the game and it doesn’t matter if you win 6-5 or 3-0. It’s more special when you have a shutout. A win is a win.”
Halak was grateful for his team’s play though.
“I think we did a great job tonight, coming off those two wins we had at home. We knew we hadn’t won on the road yet. Obviously, we [were] ready from the first faceoff. We stuck to the game-plan all through the sixty minutes and it paid off at the end of the game.”
The Blues’ next game will be this coming Saturday, as the Blues will welcome in Chris Mason and the Atlanta Thrashers at Scottrade Center.