Stastny leads Blues over Predators 4-3
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Paul Stastny is finally starting to fit in with the St. Louis Blues.
A free agent signing over the summer, Stastny scored on a deflection with 5 minutes 54 seconds left to lift the St. Louis Blues to a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.
St. Louis has won nine of its last 10. The lone loss was a 2-1 setback at home to Nashville on Saturday.
The Predators had a three-game winning streak snapped.
Stastny, who missed part of nine games with shoulder and knee injuries, tipped in a shot from Kevin Shattenkirk to break a 3-3 tie. It was his second goal in eight games this season.
“I knew before the season it was going to take a while to get used to the guys and get used to the system,” he said.
The early-season injuries slowed that process.
“Sometimes you kind of go through speed bumps,” he said. “Now that I’m getting near 100 percent, I’m feeling more comfortable.”
Vladimir Tarasenko, T.J. Oshie and Carl Gunnarsson also scored for the Blues. Tarasenko, who added an assist, has six goals and six assists during a career-high, seven-game point streak.
Rookie goalie Jake Allen stopped 22 shots and improved to 5-1. He leads all rookies in wins.
Filip Forsberg had a goal and two assists for the Predators. The rookie has scored in his last six games and has points in his last seven.
Oshie, who missed the previous seven games with a concussion, scored just 3:25 into the game. He was happy to return to the lineup but more overjoyed to see the hard-working Stastny get the game-winner.
“It was great,” Oshie said. “It’s good to have multiple lines scoring. It’s harder to defend. It’s kind of a shared thing here that we take a lot of pride in.”
Gunnarsson converted on a long shot that hit the goal post and then hovered past the goal line. Play continued for 1:47 before a stoppage in play allowed officials to look at a replay.
Nashville rallied from a 2-0 hole on goals by Forsberg and Shea Weber.
The red-hot Forsberg scored on a pass from James Neal.
“All I care about is two points for the team and unfortunately we didn’t get that,” Forsberg said. “We had some tough luck.”
The Predators tied the game 3-3 on a power-play goal by Roman Josi with 1 second left in the second period.
“It was a back-and-forth game and both teams had the momentum at times,” Weber said. “They just came out with that late goal.”
Forsberg had a chance to tie the game in the final minute but Allen came up with a key save.
“Once I heard that it was the last minute, I just tried to battle until the end,” Allen said.
The Blues gained a measure of revenge after Saturday’s loss to Nashville. St. Louis had won the previous six games with the Predators prior to that defeat.
“Any time you beat a team like that, it’s a big win,” Oshie said. “This was important for us.”
The Predators battled back from a 2-0 deficit, but managed only six shots in the third period.
“Our guys played hard, but they didn’t win the hockey game,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “It wasn’t from a lack of effort. They competed and they fought.”
Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne fell to 10-3.
Notes - Rinne, who had won his last four starts, fell to 9-7 lifetime in St. Louis. .The Predators have yet to lose back-to-back games this season. .Nashville coach Peter Laviolette has 399 career coaching wins.....Oshie played 22:58 in his return to the lineup....Forsberg had a game-high five shots on goal.