Feisty David Perron leads St. Louis Blues past Nashville Predators

By Joe Harris, The Sports Xchange
Nashville Predators Ryan Ellis takes down St. Louis Blues Alexander Steen in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 2, 2017. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Nashville Predators Ryan Ellis takes down St. Louis Blues Alexander Steen in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 2, 2017. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

ST. LOUIS -- David Perron is trying to pattern his game after his dog, a 17-pound West Highland Terrier named Jack.

"I'm trying to be like my dog at home with his bone, he won't let it go," the St. Louis Blues forward said.


Perron is taking that same mentality in regards to his puck possession. That tenaciousness translated into Perron scoring a goal and adding two assists as the Blues beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 on Sunday afternoon.

Perron was a plus-3.

"I could tell his first shift the puck comes around, a 50-50 battle, and he hands down won that battle," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "I had a good sense that he was going to be ready to go today."

Vladimir Tarasenko, Alexander Steen and Joel Edmundson also scored for the Blues, who improved to 7-0-2 over their last nine games. Jake Allen made 35 saves, several of which came on a pair of two-man advantages for Nashville in the first period.


"He's been outstanding," Yeo said. "Tonight, he made a lot of difficult saves look easy."

Ryan Johansen scored and Juuse Saros made 21 saves for the Predators, who were playing their fifth game in seven days.

"I thought we competed pretty hard," Predators captain Mike Fisher said. "Parts of that game, I thought we played really, really well and we just weren't quite good enough. They got some great bounces and buried them when they could and that was the difference."

St. Louis is third in the Central Division with 93 points with four games left. The fourth-place Nashville Predators have 91 points and are in the second Western Conference wild-card slot with three games left.

"It was a big game," Allen said. "This has been on our schedule for a while. We knew it was going to come down to between us and Nashville there for the race in the standings. We were ready, we played well."

Perron made it 3-1 Blues at 6:47 of the second with his second goal in his last three games.

Edmundson gave the Blues a 4-1 lead midway through the third period with his first goal in 11 games.


The Blues led the Predators 2-1 after two periods.

Tarasenko gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at the 5:22 mark of the first period with his team-leading 37th goal of the season. The tally came just 19 seconds after the Blues had finished killing off a two-man Nashville advantage.

Johansen evened the game with 8:38 left in the first with a power-play goal on Nashville's second two-man advantage of the game.

Yeo and most of the 19,262 Blues fans in attendance thought Viktor Arvidsson of the Predators created the full two-minute, two-man advantage by embellishing a slash from Perron. Edmundson was called initially called for a trip and after the whistle Perron's stick came into contact with Arvidsson, who immediately went down.

"I must have had a baseball bat or something, getting ready to play later on," Perron said. "I don't know. I think you know my opinion on this call and I don't want to talk about it too much."

Steen regained the lead for the Blues 55 seconds into the second period. The power-play goal broke a 1-for-16 skid for St. Louis with the man advantage.

Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said Steen's goal was a momentum swing.


"They're a good team, they're going to generate chances," Laviolette said. "That's a good line. I thought that was one that pushed it a little bit in their favor, but I thought by the nine-minute mark of the second period we took possession of the game back. Their goalie (Allen) made some big saves. You've got to give him some credit as well."

The Blues killed of five of the Predators' six power plays. Since Feb. 1, St. Louis has killed 88 percent (70 of 80) of its opponents' power plays, which is second best in the NHL during that span.

"I think throughout the year that's probably been our most consistent element to our game," Steen said. "I think it's something that when we've taken a penalty, whether it's been poor or the right one, we've found some sort of momentum in it and that's been a huge contributor to where we are in the standings."

NOTES: Blues D Robert Bortuzzo (upper body) was out after leaving Thursday's game at Colorado in the second period. With D Carl Gunnarsson (lower body) missing his second straight game, the Blues recalled D Petteri Lindbohm and F Kenny Agostino from Chicago in the AHL on an emergency basis ... The Blues have clinched their sixth straight playoff appearance and 41st time in the postseason in franchise history. ... Predators F James Neal (upper body) was out after leaving Saturday's game against Minnesota. ... The Predators also scratched D Yannick Weber, F PA Parenteau; D Brad Hunt and F Harry Zolnierczyk; The Blues also scratched C Jori Lehtera, C Paul Stastny, F Nail Yakupov and Agostino. ... The Predators host the New York Islanders on Tuesday; The Blues host Winnipeg on Tuesday.


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