St. Louis Blues Opening Night: Nashville Predators Hold Off Blues, Win 4-2

The puck's finally dropping on the St. Louis Blues' 2011-2012 season. The guys hope to get a jump on their goal of a playoff position.

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Nashville Predators At St. Louis Blues: Blues Drop Opener 4-2

Getting 33 shots on goal against a very defensively sound Nashville Predators team is a major achievement. The Blues didn’t fail in effort, but they certainly failed in getting any pucks behind Nashville’s star goaltender Pekka Rinne. Rinne had an absolutely masterful performance tonight, stopping many flurries of Blues activity around him and flashing the glove more than once on saves that caused Blues’ broadcaster Darren Pang to exclaim “he could catch a pea through the fog.”

A questionable delay of game penalty on Chris Stewart (Stewart shot the puck into the bench and Davis Payne caught it possibly above the glass) led to a wonky goal by David Legwand to give the Predators a 2-1 lead on the Blues. It looked as though the puck bounced off of Nikita Nikitin’s skate blade, and this would be the first of two odd goals Nikitin would figure in.

Jason Arnott scored his first goal – a power play goal, shockingly enough for a team that went 1-for-5 on the power play. Just 57 seconds later Kevin Kline gave the Preds their lead back on an odd-angled shot that went in above Halak’s shoulder. It might’ve been difficult for Halak to track the puck considering that Nikitin was standing directly in front of him, screening the goalie.

David Legwand put the icing on the cake with an empty net goal, and the Blues fell at home 4-2. Their 1-5 powerplay and 2-4 penalty kill might want to be addressed, as both special teams looked sloppy and unprepared.

The Blues’ next game is an afternoon matinee game on Monday at 1, when the Calgary Flames come to town.

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