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Friday, December 30, 2011

Power Play, Shootouts Kill Blues In Loss To Nashville

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On a night where St. Louis Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak stopped 34 of the 35 shots he faced, the Blues somehow managed to only find the back of the net once and were blanked by Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne on five shootout attempts in a 2-1 shootout loss to the division rival Predators on Friday night at the Scottrade Center.

The goalies for both sides were simply awesome on Friday night.  Rinne faced 36 shots, allowing just one T.J. Oshie goal in the second period while Halak matched him every step of the way.  But it was the same common issues for the Blues that have stopped them from rising even further up in the Western Conference standings that cost them in Friday night's game with Nashville.

The Blues were 0 for 4 on the power play against the Predators.  Coming off two games that saw the Blues score two power play goals in each game, the Note took a step backwards with the man advantage on Friday.

And then there were the shootouts.  The Blues failed to put a single puck past Rinne in shootouts, sending Oshie, David Perron, Patrik Berglund, captain David Backes, and Kevin Shattenkirk to attemp to solve the Rinne puzzle with no success.

Halak was just as difficult to figure out for the Predators, stopping the first four shootout opponents he faced before finally allowing Martin Erat to beat him with a perfect shot under the crossbar on the glove side to give the Predators the win.

The Blues are now 0-5 this season in shootouts and must get better if they hope to continue to move up the standings and play for home ice in the playoffs.

As mentioned, Oshie got the Blues lone goal late in the first period, his twelfth of the season.  Perron and Backes got the assists.

It was Oshies first game back from a wrist injury that sidelined him for two games earlier this week.  Vladimir Sobotka also returned to the lineup for the Blues while leading scorer Alex Steen missed the game with concussion like symptoms.

The Blues will try to avenge a tough loss earlier this week to the Detroit Red Wings when they travel to Michigan to face the Wings on Saturday night.

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