NASHVILLE - With their backs against the wall and without one of their top impact players and key leaders in Alexander Steen, the Blues put together a strong 60-minute effort Friday and ended up with a 2-1 win to extend the series and force a Game 6 on Sunday in Nashville (2 p.m. CT, NBCSN, Y98 FM).
Dmitrij Jaskin scored in his first game in nearly a month and was a force all over the ice, and Jaden Schwartz buried what turned out to be the game-winning goal just 25 seconds into the third period to lead the Blues to a critical victory at Scottrade Center.
The Blues could have looked at the adversity facing them and felt sorry for themselves, but they didn't. That's not what they're made of.
Talk about character. This Blues team has it.
"Whatever happens, good, bad, you have to make sure you're ready to come back and perform," Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo said. "It's one thing to say it, it's another thing to go out and deliver. Those guys did."
"It's huge," David Perron said of his team's performance in Game 5. "But I think, in my opinion, we have to turn the page. We're still in a hole here and we have to provide the same performance (in Game 6) - and hopefully even better."
Video: Kerber, Chase preview Game 6 in Nashville
The Blues find themselves heading back to Nashville in another must-win situation as they try to force a Game 7 in St. Louis on Tuesday. They know winning at Bridgestone Arena won't be easy - it's a tough building to play in with a raucous crowd, and the Predators are the only team remaining in the playoffs that haven't lost a home game this postseason (4-0).
But, having played two close games in Nashville already, the Blues feel more prepared this time around.
"That was the first time we've been there in a playoff scenario, so I think having two games under our belt will help us out a little bit walking into the third (game)," Patrik Berglund said. "They get a lot of energy out of their crowd. But we've got to come out and play a full 60 minutes, same style in my opinion, at least 5-on-5, that we did in (Game 5), and we'll be in good shape."
"We know that we're going to have to be even better next game," Yeo said. "But our guys, we asked them to win one game. Nothing changes for us. It's the same mentality. We have to find a way to win a game in their building.
"We know it won't be an easy challenge for us, but we'll be up for it."