The Nashville Predators came from behind in dramatic fashion to beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 at Scottrade Center on Sunday night.
Dustin Boyd scored his first two goals for the Predators to give the Preds their first goal as well as the game winner. His game winning goal came 48 seconds after Patric Hornqvist had tied the game late in the third period and totally shocked the Blues and their fans.
Pekka Rinne continued his solid play stopping 23 of 25 shots from the Blues. His play during the first period when the Blues were pressuring Nashville's defense kept the Preds in the game giving the offense a chance to get on track.
St. Louis had focused on their final three games with the Predators as an opportunity to make up ground and work their way back in to the playoff picture. The Pred's comeback win severely dampened their hopes.
Chris Mason was the hard luck loser as he played a solid game against the Preds stopping 36 of 39 shots and appeared to be well on the way to victory until the back to back late third period Nashville goals.
The first period was relatively uneventful until Codey Franson was called for tripping at 14:35. St. Louis was able to score with seven seconds left on the man advantage when Dan Hamhuis failed to clear the puck from the Pred's zone. A couple of quick passes left Carlo Colaiacovo with a shot at the open side of the Predator's net ending Pekka Rinne's 146:56 minute scoreless streak and gave the Blues a 1-0 lead.
At 17:54 things continued to deteriorate for the Preds when T. J. Oshie fired a hard slap shot that appeared to catch Francis Bouillon in the ankle. Bouillon left in pain but was able to return for regular shifts in the second period.
The first period ended with the Blues back on the power play after Steve Sullivan was called for hooking at 19:17.
St. Louis out shot the Preds 12-10 and led in the Corsi numbers 17-15. The big difference in shots in the period was on the power play where the Blues had six.
The Predators went on the man advantage at 4:20 in the second period when Oshie pushed Pekka Rinne. The Preds got of three shots but none found the net.
The Blues then went back on the power play at 7:28 when Francis Bouillon was called for holding. Their man advantage was cut short after 1:05 when Keith Tkachuk was called for roughing. The combination of power played ended with neither team scoring.
Dustin Boyd scored his first goal as a Predator at 15:03 when he won a faceoff in the Pred's defensive zone and the puck traveled the length of the ice into the Blues' corner and Jordin Tootoo fought for the puck and sent it to Boyd who buried it past Chris Mason.
The Blues came back with pressure at the end of the period and Pekka Rinne made a highlight reel save as the period wound down. The Predators out shot the Blues 13-6 and led in the Corsi 24-16.
Joel Ward left the game at 4:04 in the second and did not return after he was hit on a no-call that could have been a charging penalty.
Nineteen seconds into the third period, the Predators went on the power play when Andy McDonald was called for holding. The Preds got three shots and Weber hit the crossbar but they could not put the puck in the net.
St. Louis went ahead 2-1 at 3:39 when Carlo Colaiacovo fired a shot at the net and it popped up in the air and David Perron knocked it past Pekka Rinne. The play was reviewed for being played with a high stick but the goal was allowed.
As the period wound down the Predators intensity level was peaking. After an extended period of play in the Blues' zone, at 16:26 Steve Sullivan shot the puck and Patric Hornqvist picked up the rebound and put it past Mason to tie the game 2-2.
Forty eight seconds later Dustin Boyd scored his second goal of the game as he received a pass from Marty Erat from behind the net and he put it in the net shooting through traffic in the slot.
The Blues pulled Mason with 1:16 left and applied pressure on the Preds but they held on and the game ended in a scrum when Perron cheap shotted Boyd as time expired.
The Predators ended up out shooting the Blues 16-7 in the third period and 39-25 for the game. On the Corsi side the Preds led 60-45.
Storylines From The Game
Dustin Boyd Makes His Mark...
Even before his two goal game on Sunday, Dustin Boyd had impressed the coaching staff and fans alike. He is the prototypical Barry Trotz type predator that can play all forward positions, likes to play defense and doesn't mind working in the dirty areas.
Today's two goal outing was a bonus as he stepped up to fill the void left by Jason Arnott being out with the head injury that he suffered on Saturday night. The Preds appear to have plans to retain his services in the years to come as Barry Trotz has mentioned his future with the team on several occasions.
Pekka Rinne a Lock For NHL First Star of the Week...
Rinne was the difference maker again on Sunday as he kept the Predators in position for a huge come back win on the road. While the Preds were not scoring, Rinne was protecting the net so that when the opportunity came, the win streak could be extended to six games.
It would seem that Rinne is a virtual lock for the NHL first star of the week as he has gone 4-0 with two shutouts, a 1.22 GAA, and a .958 save percentage for the week as he extended his winning streak to six and improved his post Olympic record to 8-1.
Predator's Road Win Moves Them Up...
After the dust had settled at the end of the NHL day, the Predators found themselves in fifth place with 89 points. The Predators are two points ahead of the Kings, three in front of Colorado and six on top of Detroit who rounds out the top eight.
While the Preds are looking to move up, those who are worried about making the playoffs can take solace in the fact that he Preds have an eight point lead on ninth place Calgary.
The real surprise at the end of the day is that Phoenix has as may points at 97 as the Western Conference leading Chicago Blackhawks.
The Predators return to the Bridgestone Arena for five of their next six games starting with Dallas on Tuesday night.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass