Complete effort by Preds leads to 2-1 series lead on Blues

The Nashville Predators would take a 3-1 lead in their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the St. Louis Blues with a win Tuesday night in Game 4. Rinne made 22 saves on 23 shots, and padded his 1.38 goals allowed average in this year's postseason. The only shot that got past Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne was an artful deflection by Alexander Steen in the second period.

Ellis continues to kill the Blues.

A healthy scratch for Games 2 through 4 in the first round series with the Wild, veteran center Jori Lehtera has three points (one goal, two assists) in the two games since returning to the lineup. That was our mindset last series and that's what we have to get back to.

Game 4 is Thursday night.

The last time the Ducks lost their first two at home, the Predators knocked them out of the first round a year ago in seven games. Silfverberg's second goal of the game, challenged for offside but upheld, and Ryan Kesler's goal in the third period iced the game for the Ducks, who improved to 3-0 on the road during the playoffs.

Despite being on the road, where the Blues have found great comfort in the past couple of months and particularly in these National Hockey League playoffs, St. Louis could not find any at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. "What he's done in the playoffs speaks for itself", St. Louis coach Mike Yeo said of the Russian standout. In Game 2, the Blues didn't surrender a single power play for the Predators.

McLeod's goal was part of a dizzying flurry during the first 12-plus minutes of the second period. You guys see that and get to experience it just like we do, so that's a real positive for us. The Oilers look to take a commanding 3-0 lead while the Predators look to take advantage of home ice.

In New York, Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist to lead the Rangers over Ottawa 4-1, cutting their deficit to 2-1 in their Eastern Conference series.

It was Ellis' third postseason goal and marked his sixth straight playoff game with a point.

The Blues need to even things up going home. Nine Anaheim players had at least three shots in the previous game. One of those belonged to defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, who came close to tying the score, 2-2, in Game 3. "We keep saying this, but it's going to be the biggest game of the season next game".

They played the body to the tune of 33 hits, gummed up the neutral zone and put more shots on net than Nashville for the first time in the series. "They upped their game, they took their game to another level and we didn't match it". The Blues have a lot of areas to work on, ranging from faceoffs to generating more scoring opportunities, but apparently they're improving in the "hate" department. "They start to feel more confident".

"The more you have the puck", Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban said, "the less defense you play".

  • Julie Sanders