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Alexander Steen scores in OT to rescue St. Louis Blues

By Rob Rains, The Sports Xchange
St. Louis Blues' Robby Fabbri works to beat a Nashville Predators defender to the puck in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 29, 2015. St. Louis defeated Nashville 4-3 in overtime. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
1 of 3 | St. Louis Blues' Robby Fabbri works to beat a Nashville Predators defender to the puck in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 29, 2015. St. Louis defeated Nashville 4-3 in overtime. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

ST. LOUIS -- With a two-goal lead and less than four minutes left in the third period, the St. Louis Blues were confident they were about to celebrate a victory Tuesday night over the Nashville Predators.

They just didn't know it would take four minutes into overtime before it would happen.

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The Predators sent the game into overtime with two goals in the final 3:52 of regulation before the Blues were able to recover and get the game-winning goal from left winger Alexander Steen on a breakaway 4:01 into the extra session, producing a St. Louis 4-3 victory.

Defenseman Shea Weber cut the Blues' lead to 3-2 with his 11th goal of the year with 3:52 to go, and left winger Colin Wilson got the tying goal with 1:32 to go just seconds after the Predators pulled goalie Carter Hutton for an extra attacker.

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"The last one was really unfortunate," Steen said. "It was going way wide and hit something and goes back to the other side and they had two guys just standing there. It's unnecessary things that we can't let happen with a 3-1 lead."

The two quick goals could have deflated the Blues, but they rallied to control the puck almost the entire time in overtime before center Paul Stastny's pass sprung Steen and he beat Hutton for his 13th goal of the season.

"We started with the puck which is huge in OT," Steen said. "We didn't waste anything I thought, it was all puck possession."

The Blues out-shot the Predators 6-0 in overtime in improving to 3-0 this season against Nashville and 17-5 against Western Conference opponents.

"There are lessons every day," said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. "I was glad we got the point and got the extra point. Sitting on the bench (in the final minutes of regulation) you were hoping to get to the buzzer because we weren't really in control of anything.

"In overtime it was in their end the whole time. That's a different game. Guys got excited to play that."

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The Blues appeared in control of the game late in the third period thanks to a highlight-reel goal from rookie left winger Robby Fabbri, his fourth in five games and ninth of the season, midway through the second period and a goal from defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk 1:55 into the third period.

The Predators didn't give up, however, and were happy to get at least the one point.

"Usually when they get a lead it's so hard because they collapse and they block a lot of shots," Weber said of the Blues. "To get two late that's a big deal for us here and to get one point in a division game is big."

Added Predators center Mike Fisher, "We felt good about our game and we were getting pucks and getting chances; we felt like it was just a matter of time and we were going to get our break and we did."

Right winger Dmitrij Jaskin put the Blues in front with his second goal in 35 games this season at 9:38 of the first period. Jaskin knocked in a rebound of a shot by defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.

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The Predators challenged the play, arguing that the Blues were offside, but the challenge was denied.

Jaskin also earned the second assist on Fabbri's goal, giving him his second two-point game of the season.

Defenseman Mattias Ekholm tied the game for the Predators with a shorthanded goal at 14:00 of the first period. Ekholm's shot off a faceoff beat goalie Jake Allen for his fourth goal of the season. It was the third shorthanded goal allowed by the Blues this season.

Hutton got the rare start for the Predators, playing the second half of back-to-back games. It was only the fifth game of the year for Hutton, the backup to goalie Pekka Rinne, and his second since Nov. 25. He allowed the three goals on the Blues first 15 shots.

NOTES: The Blues placed C Scott Gomez on waivers Tuesday. Gomez played in 21 games this season but the Blues expect C Patrik Berglund to be ready to play in the next few days. Berglund has been out since undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. ... C Kyle Brodziak returned to the Blues' lineup after missing five games because of a leg injury. ... Tuesday night's game began a stretch in which the Predators will play 11 out of 14 games on the road, including Thursday night at Dallas. ... C Cody Hodgson was a healthy scratch for the second game in as many nights for the Predators, the only two games he has missed this season.

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