NASHVILLE – Former Nashville goalie Chris Mason made himself right at home – at the Predators’ expense.
Mason made 37 saves, and Brad Boyes, David Backes and Paul Kariya scored in the St. Louis Blues’ 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Friday night. “It was emotional,” Mason said. “The Predators are known for their work ethic. That’s what puts them above other teams. They never quit. If the ref doesn’t blow the whistle their players are not going to stop.”
With the victory, the Blues ended the Predators’ winning streak at seven and also snapped their home winning streak at seven.
“Now we are on a one-game losing streak,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “The most important game of the season is Saturday night, plain and simple.
“We’ve got to start another winning streak. You don’t want to go backwards at all. We will show our maturity in the way we respond these next couple of nights.”
Dave Scatchard scored for Nashville. The Predators were 0-for-5 on the power play.
“We knew that they were hot on the power play,” Mason said. “We knew the power play had been a big part of their recent winning streak. First of all, we wanted to stay out of the box. We took a few penalties, but the penalty kill did a great job.”
Boyes opened the scoring with 1:25 left in the second period, taking a backhand shot from the left side that bounced off goalie Pekka Rinne’s shoulder. Backes scored at 6:23 of the third, skating across in front of the net and firing a slap shot past Rinne.
“There was a lot of traffic,” St. Louis coach Andy Murray said. “There were a lot of bodies going to the net. We had lots of other chances where we should have scored. Rinne made some magnificent saves. It is just a matter of getting bodies to the net and putting the puck there.”
Scatchard, recalled from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League on Thursday, scored his first NHL goal of the season with 6:35 left, beating Mason off a rebound.
“He was going for the puck and he whacked my glove,” Mason said. “I don’t know what the ruling is on that. You go to the net hard and good things happen for you I guess.”
Kariya iced the game with 4:37 to go. Laying face-down on the ice midway in the slot, he shot the puck past Rinne to his stick side.
“It was a just a good play by them,” Rinne said. “Paul Kariya made a good shot.”
NOTES: The Predators wore their black and blue alternate jerseys for the first time. … Both teams were coming off 4-3 shootout wins on the road Wednesday night. … Blues defenceman Erik Johnson has two goals and three assists in his last five games.