St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators Keep Control of Their Series

AP Photo
The Associated Press

The St. Louis Blues gained a 2-1 series lead over the Chicago Blackhawks while the Nashville Predators went up 2-0 against the Anaheim Ducks.

Despite a strong showing in the first two periods, the Blackhawks collapsed in the third period. A fluke goal allowed the Blues to tie the game five minutes into the third period.

The momentum switched to the Blues and stayed with them the rest of the game.

Only six minutes later, Patrick Kane high-sticked Alex Pietrangelo. His stick drew blood, which led to a four minute power play for the Blues.

“Stuff happens in games and playoffs,” said Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, who made brilliant saves in the first two periods. “You have to try to not hang onto moments like that and let that affect you. We were in control of that game and that’s a tough one. A wicked, wicked bounce. You just somehow have to not let that get in your way and keep playing.”

The Predators took a 2-0 series lead against the Anaheim Ducks with their 3-2 victory. It is the first time the Predators have led 2-0 in a playoff series.

Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano put the Ducks ahead in the first period when he scored on a breakaway.

But it was all Predators after that goal, especially since Colin Wilson tied the game at the end of the period. They went into intermission with momentum on their side and never let go.

“Ekholm’s [goal] was big,” said Predators captain Shea Weber. “We got better as the period went on. That helped us keep it even.”

The team look organized and played with finesse while the Ducks played like chickens with their heads cut off.

“We were just stupid out there,” stated Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. “The penalties we take sometimes are just so selfish and so dumb…. Quite frankly, we don’t deserve a break if we’re just going to be yelling and being stupid all night long.”

The Ducks showed a bit of life at the end of the third period when Nate Thompson brought the team within one. But Predators goalie Pekka Rinne did not let up.

“He’s been terrific, he looked great in there,” said Predators head coach Peter Laviolette. “We always accepted a little bit of responsibility three or four months ago for not doing the right things in front of him, and now we’ve been a little bit better in front of him. But there’s always saves that need to be made and he made the saves tonight, especially early on. He gave us an opportunity to stay in that game.”