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B.J. Crombeen's three goals lift Blues to 6-3 win over Predators

ST. LOUIS - B.J. Crombeen doubled his career goal total in one game and accomplished a feat his father never did.

Crombeen's first NHL hat trick, which included the game-winning goal with 3:43 to play, helped the St. Louis Blues to a 6-3 win over the Nashville Predators Monday night. Mike Crombeen played in the NHL for seven seasons, including five with the Blues, but never scored three times in a game.

"I'll have to call him up and see what he has to say about it," Crombeen joked.

Crombeen had three career goals coming into Monday's game, including two this season, and now has four in the last two games as the Blues took five of six points in a three-game homestand.

"I can't say I was expecting that going into the game," Crombeen said. "Right spot at the right time on the first one. (Alex Steen) made a beautiful play on the second one and obviously, an empty net on the third one. It was a good night. The best part of it was we got the win."

Steen, Patrik Berglund and Brad Boyes also scored for the Blues, who are 3-0 against the Predators this season. Steen, who assisted on Crombeen's game-winner, had his first points with the Blues in seven games since coming over in a trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Boyes and Berglund each added an assist for the Blues.

Steen raced down the left side and pulled the puck past Nashville defenceman Dan Hamhuis and whipped a pass into the slot, where Crombeen made no mistake in snapping a shot high over the glove of goalie Pekka Rinne, who was 6-0 this season and 7-1 in his career.

"I had a lot of speed so I figured I'd try (to beat the defender) and it was successful," Steen said. "B.J. had a good finish. It's fun when those plays work."

Nashville, which had won six of its previous seven road games, got goals from Antti Pihlstrom, Kevin Klein and J.P. Dumont. The goal was Pihlstrom's first NHL goal.

The Blues snapped a 3-3 tie late in the game to get a victory over a Nashville team that posted shutouts in two of the previous three games.

"I'm not sure what happened (late in the game)," Predators defenceman Shea Weber said. "A little mental lapse, a little miscommunication. That's something we can't do, especially late in the game. We have to salvage at least one point."

The Blues put the game away when Boyes, who scored his team-leading 14th goal of the season, deflected a point shot from Barret Jackman 45 seconds after Crombeen's second of the game.

Crombeen added an empty-netter with 30 seconds to play for his first career hat trick as the Blues held the Predators to one shot on goal in the third period.

"That line of (Jay) McClement, Steen and Crombeen's had a couple solid games for us," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "To see them rewarded was gratifying."

The Predators held the early advantage and led 2-1 in the game when penalties turned the tide in the Blues' favour.

After Klein gave the Predators a 2-1 lead at 6:32 of the second period with a breakaway goal, the teams combined for three goals in a span of 2:01 late in the period.

With Nashville's Jordin Tootoo in the penalty box for interference and Vernon Fiddler in the box for holding, Steen tied the game at 14:56, scoring on a two-man advantage that turned out to be a three-man advantage as a delayed penalty was being called.

Berglund scored another power-play goal for the Blues to give them a 3-2 lead at 16:22 before Dumont tied the game 35 seconds later.

"The second period, we had it all along," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "Everything was going our way, then we took one penalty, then we took another, which was absolutely ridiculous. ... Two 5-on-3s change the game."

The Blues had a chance to grab a lead at the start of the third period when Nashville's David Legwand was whistled for a four-minute high-sticking penalty. However, the Blues failed to get a shot on goal.

Notes: Boyes scored his 100th NHL goal. ... The last times these teams met on Nov. 25, Blues G and former Predator Chris Mason recorded a career-high 47 saves in a 1-0 shootout victory. ... Blues rookie C T.J. Oshie sat out Monday's game after reinjuring his left ankle Saturday against Phoenix. Oshie missed 13 games before returning to the lineup Friday against Calgary. ... Rinne was 6-0 this season, including a pair of shutouts in two of his last four games. ... Nashville F Scott Nichol played in his 400th career game.



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