Radulov converted his first NHL shootout attempt to lift the Nashville Predators over the St. Louis Blues 3-2 Tuesday night. When Nashville coach Barry Trotz was looking for his fourth shooter, he chose Radulov over veterans J.P. Dumont and Kimmo Timonen.
“I think in a shootout you have to have a little bit of composure,” Trotz said. “This kid has ice water in his veins. He has been doing shootout moves in practice. He doesn’t want to get off of the ice. I have seen some pretty impressive moves, so I thought, what the heck.”
Radulov acknowledged he was a little surprised to get the call.
“You have to start somewhere,” he said. “I knew they were probably going to use me, but I didn’t think I would be fourth. I was nervous, but if I didn’t score, I didn’t score.”
Predators goalie Chris Mason stopped four shootout attempts before Radulov skated in and fired a backhander high to beat Manny Legace.
Mason is 3-1 in shootouts this season, stopping 10 of 14 attempts.
“For the most part I just try not to make a move before the shooter does,” Mason said. “It’s a little bit patience and a little bit luck. I will take them both.”
Trotz pointed to the fact that Mason works on shootout scenarios in every practice.
“We have some pretty good shooters on our team and Mason works against them every day,” Trotz said. “He is athletic. He is a battler. The goaltender has to be patient. Goaltenders that aren’t patient are going to struggle with the shootout.”
Paul Kariya had a goal and an assist, and Scott Hartnell scored in the third period for Nashville.
It was the third time in three meetings that Nashville and St. Louis have gone to overtime, and the second time in the last three games that the outcome was decided by a shootout.
“I think this is going to be the norm when we play St. Louis,” Trotz said. “St. Louis has played with a lot of purpose in their game. They have a good work ethic. They are a veteran team. They don’t beat themselves. They are playing the way they are capable of playing. They don’t have any passengers.”
Radek Dvorak and Bill Guerin had third-period goals for St. Louis.
Kariya scored at 1:21 of the second period. Martin Erat shot the puck across the goal from the right side of the ice. Kariya broke in down the left side of the slot, one-timing the puck from close range between the left post and Legace.
Just two minutes into the third, Dvorak took advantage of a loose puck in heavy traffic around the crease. He skated in from the left side and fired the puck over Mason to tie it.
The Predators went in front again on Hartnell’s power-play goal at 8:19 of the third. Kariya took a shot from the right side and Hartnell, fighting for position in the crease, tipped the puck past Legace.
Guerin tied it for St. Louis at 10:46 with a one-timer from the left circle.
“We didn’t quit,” Guerin said. “We kept fighting back. I wish we could have started the game a little stronger, but we got better as we went along.”
Mason stopped 30 of 32 shots in regulation and overtime.
“We knew they were going to come after us,” he said.
Notes: The Predators are 10-0-0 this season when Kariya scores. … St. Louis ended a season-high three-game winning streak. … The Predators have won 12 straight games against St. Louis.