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Blues win in shootout after Predators score late

by Louie Korac /

ST. LOUIS -- Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk made the most of his 26th birthday, and his father Pat was on hand to see his son step up in a crucial moment for the St. Louis Blues.

Shattenkirk scored in the fourth round of the shootout to give the Blues a 5-4 victory against the Nashville Predators at Scottrade Center on Thursday.

"You kind of go into it and think to yourself, 'There's no way you can get gypped on your birthday,'" said Shattenkirk, who is 6-for-14 in career shootouts with five deciding goals. "It was a nice little present and happy we had the fathers here. My dad was here to see it too."

Shattenkirk beat Nashville goalie Carter Hutton with a forehand, and Brian Elliott stopped James Neal to give the Blues their eighth win in nine games (8-0-1). St. Louis (30-13-4) ended a seven-game homestand 6-0-1.

"Luckily I get to go when there's an opportunity to go ahead by a goal and not have to tie it up," Shattenkirk said. "I think that's mentally a huge break when you have that opportunity. It's nice when you get to go later after the other guys go so you can see what their goalie's doing a little bit."

Jaden Schwartz, T.J. Oshie, Steve Ott and Ryan Reaves scored in the second period for the Blues, who trailed 2-0 and moved within four points of first-place Nashville (31-10-6) in the Central Division. Oshie scored in the shootout.

Elliott made 33 saves for the Blues, who play at the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.

He allowed a Roman Josi shootout goal and got a bit of a break on Neal, who seemed to lose the puck before Elliott stopped it to end the game.

"He's usually a shooter," Elliott said of Neal. "I don't think it settled down for him at the right time. [It] just kind of floated in on me.

"One point gained on them, but we definitely wanted the two-point game. That's why it's tough gaining ground."

St. Louis lost left wing Patrik Berglund to an upper-body injury late in the second period, and center Jori Lehtera early in the third period to an upper-body injury.

"That third period, they showed they had one more game under their belt," St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said, referring to Nashville playing Tuesday after the All-Star break. "That showed up. We looked like we had missed eight or nine days. That showed up also.

"We were much better than they were in the first [period] and they were much better than we were in the third, and the second was probably from a play standpoint a draw."

Mike Fisher scored twice and had an assist, Neal and Filip Forsberg scored, and Josi had two assists for Nashville. Hutton made 31 saves for the Predators, who play at the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.

"I thought it was a good game," Predators captain Shea Weber said. "I thought both teams came out with a really good push at the start and came back as the game went on, and obviously we tied it up and took it into overtime."

Neal beat Elliott from the slot off a pass from Fisher with 2:38 remaining in the third period to tie it 4-4.

"In the third, we started coming and played our game a little bit more," Fisher said. "That was a good game, back and forth, and I think a good one for the fans. We just came up short."

The Predators outshot the Blues 15-6 in the third period.

"It looked like we ran out of gas in the third there," Elliott said. "Obviously they kept ragging it, ragging it, ragging it until they got that shot to score the fourth goal. We held in there."

The Blues took the lead with three goals in a 4:40 span of the second period, including two in 26 seconds.

Schwartz made it 2-1 when he followed Vladimir Tarasenko's shot at 8:22. Oshie tied it 2-2 when he followed Paul Stastny's shot at 12:36, then Ott's second goal with the Blues, off another rebound, gave the Blues a 3-2 lead at 13:02.

Fisher's second of the game, a shorthanded goal, after a Schwartz turnover and when Elliott gave up a rebound of Josi's shot from the left point, tied the game 3-3 at 15:32.

Reaves' slap shot from the right circle, after he stripped Predators defenseman Seth Jones in the neutral zone, beat Hutton with 1:45 remaining and gave the Blues a 4-3 lead.

Fisher gave the Predators a 1-0 lead, his 500th point in the NHL, on the strangest of goals. He tipped Josi's point shot, and the puck caromed off the glass behind Elliott, came back over the goal and went in off the goalie at 12:49 of the first period.

The play was reviewed to determine that it did not hit the protective netting above the glass.

"The first period we played was terrific," Hitchcock said. "We had eight scoring chances or seven scoring chances to one or two or whatever. Couldn't get ourselves any gap in it, couldn't finish there."

Oshie said, "I thought we played hard. They're a great team and they made a pretty strong push at the end there. Unfortunately, they got a point out of us, but when a team puts that much pressure on you, one's bound to go in.

"I thought we recovered really well, I thought we did well in OT."

Blues goaltender Martin Brodeur, who officially announced his retirement earlier Thursday, took part in a ceremonial faceoff before the game.

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