Mayors bet music, BBQ sauce over Blues-Predators semifinal

Ryan Ellis and James Neal scored in the third period to give the Nashville Predators a 2-1 win against the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday. After falling in Game 2 in St. Louis, the Preds bounced back and won 3-1. The Predators' blue-line corps continues to provide production, with Ryan Ellis following up P.K. Subban's three-point game with a goal and assist on Friday.

McLeod gave Nashville a 2-0 lead with his first goal of the postseason just 2:29 into the second period with a backhander past Allen.

The Blues trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series after registering just 23 shots on goal in Sunday's loss.

If goaltender Jake Allen hadn't delivered another impressive performance, with 31 saves on 34 shots, the Predators might actually have embarrassed a Blues team that admittedly wasn't very competitive for long stretches in Game 3. Jake Allen is going to have to steal one here as the Blues haven't had a great run offensively.

Nashville went 0 for 3 on the power play Sunday, but spent much more of the game on the attack. Allen is slow to close the butterfly, likely because he is struggling to find a sight lane to the puck. It is time the Blues make the Predators try and stop them for a change. When they finally put one towards Predators' goalie Pekka Rinne, it went in the net.

St. Louis knows the stakes mentioned above for this game. The Predators don't want a seven game series against the Blues with the kind of hockey they play.

The Rangers now have a chance to "hold serve" at home by making the series 2-2, while the Senators get another chance to push NY to the brink of elimination in Game 4.

"Anytime we can be a plus line or chip one in, it's going to obviously help", McLeod said. Silfverberg's second goal of the game, challenged for offside but upheld, and Ryan Kesler's goal in the third period iced the game for the Ducks, who improved to 3-0 on the road during the playoffs.

The Predators are looking forward not only to being back home, but the chance to play their first game in this series with a full complement of 12 forwards for an entire game. Vladimir Tarasenko bailed the team out with two goals and the defenders did a better job of limiting chances. The Blues will still need to win two games in a row since they have been winning the even games to this point, but they have proven capable of that. Hunt went nearly three months between games, playing in just three games the rest of the season for the Predators, the final three regular-season games after the Predators' postseason fate had effectively been determined. "And I play with some pretty good players".

Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo had a shot go off the post within the first five minutes of the third. Next game is Tuesday at 8:30. All the sudden, despite the Blues being over match for most of the period, the deficit was just one.

  • Steve Townsend