The St. Louis Blues avoided elimination last night with a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators. Nashville leads the series 3-2 with Game 6 coming in Nashville tomorrow afternoon. The extra day off seemed to effect both teams early on in the game as the energy level was down. The game started flat and stayed that way for the whole 1st period. The Blues eventually got their game going, while the Predators never seemed to completely warm to the task.
The 1st period seemed like two teams just skating it out, there wasn’t a ton of contact and it seemed that all the hate that was building in Game 4 was just, gone. Late in the period a phantom high stick call on James Neal, gave the Blues a late power play. Then 10 seconds later, Mattias Ekholm was a given a 4 minute double minor on a terrible high stick by him. Nashville would kill off the 5 on 3 ending the period.
Nashville still had work to do to start the 2nd period, they still had the second minor on Ekholm to kill. The would kill it off and that seemed to give them a lift. Then, Dmitrij Jaskin managed to break the tie 5:43 into the period. Then with just under 13 minutes played in the period the Blues took two minors on one play giving Nashville a 5 on 3 power play of their own. Neal would score to tie the game at 1-1.
The 3rd period started with a bad clear attempt up the boards by Roman Josi that would lead to the tie breaker from Jaden Schwartz just 25 seconds in. From this point on the Blues closed up shop and made it very difficult for the Preds to get through the neutral zone. Nashville could not establish much if any, zone time. They could only generate a few chances. St. Louis held on and closed to within in a game of the Predators in the series.
This is going to make for a very interesting Game 6 in Nashville on Sunday afternoon. The Predators will have to return to the play that made them successful up to this point.
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