St Louis (1-1) at Nashville (1-1)
When: Sunday, April 30th 2017
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
Time: 3:05 ET | TV: NBC
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The St. Louis Blues were on the verge of going down 2-0 in their second round series at home to the Nashville Predators before their Russian superstar saved the day, and potentially the series. Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice, including the tie-breaking goal with 3:51 left in regulation to give the Blues a 3-2 victory over the visiting Predators in Game 2 to tie the Western Conference semifinal series. Jori Lehtera also scored for the Blues, and Jake Allen stopped 22 shots – including 14 in the third period to preserve the win. Tarasenko’s winner came on a lucky bounce, when Jaden Schwartz led the rush and initially tried to pass it to Carl Gunnarsson, but the pass was off the mark and bounced off of Gunnarsson’s foot right to Tarasenko’s stick. Tarasenko, who scored a team-high 39 goals this season after scoring 40 in 2015-16, had been limited to one goal and three points before breaking loose in Game 2. The Blues are just 2-for-21 on the power play in seven postseason games.
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Ryan Ellis had a goal and an assist and James Neal also scored for the Predators, who had their franchise-high five-game postseason winning streak snapped. Goaltender Pekka Rinne finished with 17 saves and allowed three goals for the second straight game after allowing three total in the four-game first round sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks. “It’s a series. Obviously going home now and a huge game at home on Sunday. It’s going to be a big one, but yeah we’re in a good situation,” Rinne told reporters after the game. A bright spot was provided by Neal, a 31-goal scorer for the Predators last season. He ended a 10-game goal drought with his first of the postseason after scoring four times in each of the previous two seasons. The Predators’ blue-line continues to provide production, with Ellis following up P.K. Subban’s three-point game with a goal and assist on Friday. Center Ryan Johansen, who had a five-game point streak end Friday, had two goals and two assists in five regular-season meetings versus the Blues.
I expect Rinne to bounce back from a couple of sub-par performances and for the home crowd to give the Predators a big lift in Game 3. The Blues need to start scoring on the power play, or they’re in trouble.
Pick: Predators -145
- Blues are 5-0 in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Blues are 4-0 in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Blues are 7-1 in their last 8 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Blues are 13-3 in their last 16 Sunday games.
- Blues are 4-1 in their last 5 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Blues are 20-6 in their last 26 overall.
- Blues are 6-2 in their last 8 vs. Central.
- Blues are 6-2 in their last 8 vs. Western Conference.
- Blues are 20-7 in their last 27 road games.
- Blues are 18-7 in their last 25 games following a win.
- Blues are 5-2 in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Predators are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. Central.
- Predators are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Predators are 5-1 in their last 6 overall.
- Predators are 4-1 in their last 5 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Predators are 4-1 in their last 5 Sunday games.
- Predators are 7-2 in their last 9 home games.
- Predators are 19-7 in their last 26 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Predators are 20-8 in their last 28 vs. Western Conference.
- Under is 3-0-1 in Blues last 4 Sunday games.
- Over is 4-0-4 in Blues last 8 Conference Semifinals games.
- Under is 5-1 in Blues last 6 games following a win.
- Under is 4-1 in Blues last 5 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Under is 4-1-1 in Blues last 6 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Under is 16-5-5 in Blues last 26 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Under is 6-2-3 in Blues last 11 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 16-6-4 in Blues last 26 vs. Western Conference.
- Under is 5-2-1 in Blues last 8 overall.
- Under is 10-4-1 in Blues last 15 road games.
- Under is 5-2-1 in Blues last 8 vs. Central.
- Under is 1-0-3 in Predators last 4 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Over is 1-0-4 in Predators last 5 overall.
- Under is 3-0-2 in Predators last 5 home games.
- Over is 1-0-4 in Predators last 5 vs. Western Conference.
- Over is 5-0-4 in Predators last 9 Conference Semifinals games.
- Over is 1-0-4 in Predators last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 5-1-2 in Predators last 8 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Under is 5-1-1 in Predators last 7 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Over is 13-4-4 in Predators last 21 Sunday games.
- Over is 14-5-7 in Predators last 26 vs. Central.
- Over is 30-13-9 in Predators last 52 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
HEAD TO HEAD
- Under is 34-11-6 in the last 51 meetings in Nashville.
- Home team is 12-4 in the last 16 meetings.
- Under is 52-23-9 in the last 84 meetings.
- Blues are 19-9 in the last 28 meetings.
- Blues are 2-5 in the last 7 meetings in Nashville.
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