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Preds lack jump in loss to Blues

The St. Louis Blues got a dominating 6-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena, marking their second victory in two contests against Nashville this season.

St. Louis was able to generate a lot of traffic in front of Carter Hutton to jump out to a 3-0 lead, and eventually stretched their lead to 6-1 in the third period. The Blues were firing pucks at the net with bodies in front of both Hutton and Magnus Hellberg, who got his first taste of NHL action in the third period after the Predators were down 5-1. St. Louis made it difficult for Nashville’s goaltenders to track the puck with the traffic they generated in front of the net.

“That’s the type of game they play. They’re big and strong and it’s hard to stop, but it’s just determination. I think the way to counter that is to do it yourself, and we certainly didn’t do that tonight. They scored timely goals, that’s for sure, but we’ve just got to battle. It’s all about battling,” said Predators forward Eric Nystrom.

“I thought in the first period we boxed out pretty good,” said Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm. “They got the shots, but I think we boxed out their bodies pretty well. As the game went on, we kind of slacked a little bit on that area, and that’s something we’ve got to do 60 minutes if you’re going to beat a team like this.”

Saturday night’s contest just seemed to be a game that St. Louis wanted more. They came out and controlled the play right from the start of the game and never really fully relinquished control. Jaroslav Halak played very well in net for the Blues, stifling the Nashville offense for the majority of the night.

This is the type of game the Predators would just as soon forget ever happened. St. Louis was playing the second game of a back-to-back slate against the Predators on Saturday night after being off for a week before Friday night’s game against Vancouver. The Blues simply manhandled the Predators.

“I think every loss you’ve got to just forget about it. Learn what you did bad and just go on and continue,” Ekholm said.

“That wasn’t good,” Nystrom said. “Wasn’t a good game, wasn’t a great game. We didn’t have the jump. We looked like the team that played the back-to-back last night. We’ve just got to get ready for this road trip and get ready to work and have a great road trip and move on.”

Nashville has a very important road trip coming up. They will be on the road for seven straight games and will be without the services of Pekka Rinne for those games. Nashville gets a bit of a break before heading out on the road trip, which begins next Thursday night against the Phoenix Coyotes. This road trip is going to be a very critical part of their success level this season.

“It’s huge,” Nystrom said. “We want to just be consistent this whole road trip. It’s not about sprinting out of the gates. We want to really make sure we play well in every single game, and we’ve just got to play harder and battle harder. Be like the St. Louis Blues were tonight.”

 
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