NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Any player can step up and make a difference at any time. That's how the Nashville Predators are approaching games these days.
The Predators got the game-tying goal from their fourth line center and the game-winner from a defenseman Saturday night in a 2-1 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues.
"We showed our real true colors in terms of our identity," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "The one thing about our team is that we all come to grips with the fact that we all need each other. When we need a goal from someone, then someone steps up."
Shea Weber scored 40 seconds into overtime on a 4-on-3 power play. Marek Zidlicky, with his second assist of the game, found Weber a few feet inside the blue line. Weber blasted the one-timer past St. Louis goaltender Manny Legace to his glove side.
"The net was looking pretty small after all of the shots that I missed early on," Weber said. "But with all of the space we had on the ice and the players that we have, anything can happen. If you're out there with good players they are going to make good plays. We were just fortunate."
The loss ended the Blues winning streak at two games. The Predators bounced back from a 6-1 loss Thursday night against the Chicago Blackhawks, their only loss in regulation on home ice in their last eight games.
Yan Stastny scored the only goal for the Blues who managed only 19 shots on goal against Predators goaltender Dan Ellis. In the third period the Blues failed to record a shot on goal, the first time the Predators have completely shut down a team in a period in the history of the franchise.
|Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber is cheered as he skates off the ice after scoring the winning goal in overtime to beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008, in Nashville. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)|
The Predators pounded Legace with 44 shots.
"I knew that if we ever scored we were going to go on and win the game," Trotz said. "If we got beat we were going to get beat by a goaltender that was absolutely standing on his head. We kept on throwing pucks at Legace. We knew sooner or later one was going to go in."
The Blues opened the scoring with a play that looked more like something that might be seen on a rugby field. Four players scrambled for the loose puck after a face-off in the left circle. Stastny gained control and shot the puck between the leg pads of Predators goalie Dan Ellis.
Nichol ended the Blues shutout attempt at the 11:40 mark of the third period as he beat Blues goaltender Manny Legace with a shot that went under his glove from the right side.
"I had no idea where it was," Legace said. "I thought the pick was still behind the net, but he batted it out of the air. That's three lucky goals that guy has got on me the last two or three games. He has got my number a little bit."
Notes: The Predators have allowed four first-period goals in their last two games, but still have outscored their opponents 26-11 in the first in the last 22 games. ... This game was the third sellout of the season for the Predators. ... Stastny, recalled by the Blues from Peoria on Feb. 11, played his first game in a Blues uniform after being a healthy scratch in the past two games. The Predators played without J.P. Dumont, a 21-goal scorer, who stayed home to deal with the flu.
|Yan Stastny (1) ASST: Ryan Johnson (10)|
1 - 0 STL
|Scott Nichol (8) ASST: Vernon Fiddler (15), Marek Zidlicky (29)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Shea Weber (4) ASST: Marek Zidlicky (30), Jason Arnott (34)|
2 - 1 NSH
|Jason Arnott Cross checking against Bryce Salvador|
|Keith Tkachuk Interference against Rich Peverley|
|Eric Brewer Cross checking against Alexander Radulov|
|Eric Brewer Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Keith Tkachuk Interference against Martin Erat|
|Jamal Mayers Roughing against Shea Weber|
|Barret Jackman Hooking against Radek Bonk|
|DJ King Hooking against Marek Zidlicky|
|Martin Rucinsky Hooking against Rich Peverley|