"When we needed some energy, he provided it," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "He got the Gordie Howe hat trick: a fight, a goal and an assist."
Tootoo scored a power-play goal and had an assist for his first multipoint NHL game in the Predators' 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night. Tootoo is the first Inuit to play in the NHL.
David Legwand and Jeremy Stevenson also scored for the Predators, who improved to 5-0-2-1 in their last eight home games. Chris Mason made 26 saves for his second victory in as many starts.
"I was a little concerned because this was our fifth game in seven nights," Trotz said. "Our players did a great job of handling a rested team, a team that has had our number in the past. St. Louis has some real dangerous guys. I give credit to everybody on our team."
Eric Boguniecki scored for the Blues, who are winless in their last four games and have scored just three goals in those games.
"It seemed like when we gave up that second goal we didn't have the fire to get us back in the game," St. Louis coach Joel Quenneville said. "There were a lot of turnovers down low and they led to all of their goals."
The Predators took a 1-0 lead at 17:16 of the first period. Dan Hamhuis fired a shot from the blue line that was deflected into the goal by Tootoo, who was low in the slot.
"I couldn't have done it without my linemates," Tootoo said. "I was just in the right place at the right time for the goal. We wanted to keep working hard defensively. I thought our line forechecked them hard."
St. Louis tied it at 3:11 of the third period on Boguniecki's goal. Mike Danton took a shot from beside the right goal post that was blocked by Mason. The puck was loose in the crease and Boguniecki knocked it into the left side of the net.
Legwand put the Predators ahead 2-1 at 6:18. Marek Zidlicky passed the puck to the slot from the right circle, Legwand got the puck and beat Chris Osgood low to his glove side.
"We didn't give up much," Legwand said. "And we put our opportunities in the back of the net."
Stevenson sealed it for Nashville at 12:57 when he beat Osgood from midway in the slot.
"We're not as confident as we were previously in the season," Osgood said. "We're working hard, but when we make a mistake it seems to compound itself and it ends up being worse. It's just not happening for us."
|PPG - Jordin Tootoo (2) ASST: Dan Hamhuis (9), Martin Erat (17)|
1 - 0 NSH
|Eric Boguniecki (2) ASST: Michael Danton (4)|
1 - 1 Tie
|David Legwand (10) ASST: Marek Zidlicky (16), Scott Walker (15)|
2 - 1 NSH
|Jeremy Stevenson (2) ASST: Jordin Tootoo (3), Marek Zidlicky (17)|
3 - 1 NSH
|Power Play %||18.7%||17.7%|
|% on Road||25.7%||16.2%|
|% at Home||12.5%||19.0%|
|Dan Hamhuis Holding|
|Scott Mellanby Holding the stick|
|Jordin Tootoo Fighting (maj) against Christian Backman|
|Michael Danton Slashing|
|Michael Danton Fighting (maj)|
|Ryan Johnson Elbowing|
|Steve Martins Unsportsmanlike conduct|
|Steve Martins Holding the stick|
|Marek Zidlicky Interference|
|Chris Pronger Cross checking|
|Jason York Holding|
|Chris Pronger Interference|
|Keith Tkachuk Slashing|
|Jordin Tootoo Slashing|
|Murray Baron Slashing|