ST. LOUIS -- Channeling desperation into perhaps their most complete effort of the playoffs, the St. Louis Blues stayed alive in their Western Conference semifinal series with the Nashville Predators on Friday night.
Jaden Schwartz broke a tie 25 seconds into the third period with a rebound goal as St. Louis registered a 2-1 win at Scottrade Center, cutting Nashville's lead in the best-of-seven series to 3-2.
Schwartz pounced on Colton Parayko's point blast, punching it past Pekka Rinne for his fourth playoff goal shortly after an interference penalty to P.K. Subban ran its course.
Hoping to clinch their first berth in the conference finals, the Predators will have another chance in Game 6 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Sunday. They are 4-0 on home ice in the playoffs, including 3-1 and 2-1 wins in Games 3 and 4 against the Blues.
After a scoreless first period, St. Louis scored the first goal in a game for the first time in the series. Dmitrij Jaskin jumped on the rebound of a point shot from Alex Pietrangelo and beat Rinne with a wrister from the bottom of the left circle for his first playoff goal.
Nashville equalized at 13:50 on a 5-on-3 power play after Pietrangelo and Patrik Berglund each took minors on the same rush. James Neal buried Subban's setup at the right post for his third goal of the postseason, all in this series.
That was one of the few quality chances the Predators were able to muster against the Blues, who gummed up their offense most of the night. Jake Allen only had to stop 21 shots, including a wrister from the right circle with just over six minutes left by Filip Forsberg. That was Nashville's final shot of the game.
Rinne made 30 saves but lost for just the second time in the playoffs.
NOTES: Nashville RW Craig Smith missed his sixth straight game with an undisclosed injury, even though he skated Friday morning. Smith hasn't played since leaving Game 3 of his team's first-round sweep of Chicago in overtime. ... St. Louis LW Alexander Steen (foot) was scratched from Game 5, with RW Dmitrij Jaskin drawing into the lineup in his place. ... Other Predators scratches were D Anthony Bitetto, RW PA Parenteau, D Brad Hunt, C Frederick Gaudreau, G Marek Mazanec, RW Pontus Aberg and C Vernon Fiddler. ... The Blues also scratched D Jordan Schmaltz, C Ivan Barbashev, RW Nail Yakupov, LW Zach Sanford and G Luke Opilka.