Behind goaltender Jaroslav Halak (24 saves), the St. Louis Blues shutout the Nashville Predators 2-0 at the Scottrade Center on Saturday night, ending the Predators’ hopes of a fourth seed and home-ice advantage in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs. It was Halak’s third shutout against the Predators this season and gave the Blues a 4-1-1 season record against the Predators.
This was the first meeting between the two teams where the Blues were healthy. Had they fielded this squad all season, they may have been headed to the playoffs along with the Predators.
The game-winning goal came from T.J. Oshie at at 5:20 in the second period. The goal from Alex Steen with 49 seconds remaining put the icing on the cake for the Blues.
Pekka Rinne gathered third star honors for stopping 23 of 25 Blues shots.
The Predators showed signs of fatigue against a Blues team that was fresh and had nothing to lose in front of a sellout crowd celebrating their fan appreciation night.
Patric Hornqvist had six shots and Mike Fisher had four to lead the Predators’ offense (or lack thereof). In a game with few stoppages, the Preds won 22 of 40 faceoffs with Blake Geoffrion winning seven of eight from the circle.
The Predators returned home after the game and will wait to see where they will travel next Wednesday or Thursday to open their first round series on the road.