DISCLAIMER: I apologize in advance for the NHL wanting to roll out
GameCenter 2.0 NHL.tv tonight and messing up pretty much everything that went along with it. Long story short, limited video highlights for us tonight. However, the official NHL recap has a few.
The lineups would be very different tonight as the Blues (Hitch) would turn to yet another combo of forwards. Tonight's lines were: Backes, Steen, Berglund (yes, that's Steen playing center) Fabbri, Lehtera, Brouwer...Making a return to the lineup tonight would be Magnus Paajarvi and he would be paired with Stastny and Tarasenko (sorry Paul and Vladimir) and finally Jaskin, Brozdiak and Upshall. The defensive pairs tonight were: Bouwmeester, Pietrangelo...Edmundson, Shattenkirk, and Gunnarsson, Parayko. Starting in net would be Brian Elliott.
The Blues were off for 9 straight days, and had all of one full practice (that I'm aware). They sure showed it in the first. They looked rusty, flat, and just plain not into it. Most of the Blues anyway. Elliott looked pretty sharp for not having done anything though. Midway through the first he would deny newest Pred Ryan Johansen of a point blank chance. James Neal would have another chance soon after, but Elliott would stand tall and deny him the chance. As far as the Blues, nothing. Neither team had ten shots on goal, and at one point even the score board decided to stop working.
Despite what that board may have said shots were 8-4 for the Predators, but yeah...2-0 kinda seemed right.
The Blues would finally start looking like a hockey team in the second. Although, after that first period that bar was pretty low. Patrik Berglund, usually the whipping boy of fans (sometimes myself included. Trying to give him the benefit of the doubt) actually played a decent game tonight. In fact, within the first thirty seconds of the second he had the Blues first really good chance of the game. Shorthanded even. Late in the second, the Preds had a 2 on 1 chance but Elliott would make the stop. That chance was only one of 3 shots for the Preds in the second frame. The Blues on the other hand, while the chances weren't spectacular, at least got 7 shots on net, so progress was there, just not enough.
Blues finally seemed to be awake in the third. Paajarvi would get the Blues best chance of the night, but Rinne would make a great pad save on both the initial shot and the rebound chance. The Blues would get a lucky bounce way late in the game. With a minute and five seconds left, Troy Brouwer would score the game winner off of his shin to give the Blues a 1-0 win. Pietrangelo had the intial shot (in fact at first it was called as his goal), but instead Brouwer would pick up his tenth goal of the year.
The aforementioned Pietrangelo(19) and Robby Fabbri (8) would get the assists. Elliott would get the 16 save shutout. (Don't let that small number fool you. There were a few times that he made some key saves). A win is a win, and a divisional win at that. The Blues would hold the Preds to just eight shots in the final two periods. They would outshoot the Preds The Blues return home Thursday to take on the Sharks.
Third Star: Brian Elliott (16 saves, shutout, never changing out of the cujo gear. Even when not playing)
Second Star: Pekka Rinne (23 saves, best player on the ice for Preds tonight)
First Star: Troy Brouwer (1 goal, still no word on if he will be in the new Brouwer er, Power Rangers movie)