NHL Game Summary - Nashville at St. Louis
(Tuesday, December 29th)
Final Score: Nashville 4, St. Louis 3
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - J.P. Dumont registered the game-winning goal while Shea Weber posted three assists, as the Nashville Predators edged the St. Louis Blues, 4-3, in a Central Division battle at Scottrade Center.
Marcel Goc, Patric Hornqvist and Joel Ward also scored for the Predators, who put the brakes on a three-game skid and will close the 2009 calendar year with a New Year's Eve contest at Columbus on Thursday. Pekka Rinne turned aside 24 shots in the victory.
Andy McDonald and Alex Steen both posted a goal and an assist for the Blues, who have dropped three straight. Carlo Colaiacovo also scored while Chris Mason allowed four goals on 30 shots in the loss.
"We played frustrated, we took too many penalties and we didn't show a lot of composure with the puck," said Blues coach Andy Murray. "Most of that stemmed from the fact that we didn't manage the puck very well."
Nashville led 4-1 after Dumont's tally 5:16 into the final stanza, but the Blues came to life and made it interesting down the stretch.
At the 9:08 mark of the third, Steen's sixth goal brought the Blues within two. He streaked down the left-wing side and, from a very sharp angle near the base of the circle, somehow found room between Rinne and the near post and his laser wrist shot lit the lamp.
Nashville's Steve Sullivan was whistled for interference soon after and the Blues cashed in on the ensuing power play. A blast from the right point was saved by Rinne, but the rebound was loose and McDonald swiped the disc over the goal line from atop the crease with 7:30 to go.
Still trailing 4-3, the Blues tried desperately to find the equalizer, but the Predators defense clamped down. The best chance for St. Louis in the waning minutes was a near-miss 2-on-1 that failed to materialize due to a tipped pass in the neutral zone.
"They seemed to get a bit of momentum early in the third period," said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz. "But we settled down and eventually got back to playing our game."
Just 1:29 after the opening faceoff, Colaiacovo's fourth of the year gave the Blues an early lead, the Preds tied it up at the 5:04 mark of the first via Goc's eighth goal of 2009-10. Goc's shot from outside the left circle made its way through traffic and past Mason.
Hornqvist's tally at 12:43 of the opening stanza gave Nashville a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of action.
The only goal of the middle session was by Ward, a power-play tally at 4:09. A shot from the top of the right circle by Weber was stopped by skates and sticks in front, but Ward whacked at the loose puck and pushed it over the goal line for his seventh marker.
Nashville improved to 14-1 when leading after two periods this season and improved to 11-7-2 on the road in 2009-10...The Blues have lost three straight home games...This marked the third consecutive win in St. Louis by the Preds...The Blues will also close 2009 on the year's final night by hosting the Vancouver Canucks.
12/30 01:08:09 ET