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Offense struggles again for Blues in Game 4 loss to Predators

St. Louis fails to capitalize on scoring chances, power-play opportunities

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- An inability to finish scoring chances again cost the St. Louis Blues in a 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday.

The Blues combined for six goals in the first two games of the series but scored one in each of the past two losses. They were pleased with their effort in Game 4, outshooting the Predators 33-25, but the end result wasn't enough and they trail the best-of-7 series 3-1.

Game 5 is at St. Louis on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

 

[RELATED: Complete Blues vs. Predators series coverage]

 

The Blues also allowed the first goal for a fourth consecutive game.

"If we do get a goal there in the second, then you're up a goal and then it's a different game," center Paul Stastny said. "A lot of times, the team that scores that first goal ends up winning the game. Whether you say it or not, I think that first goal does change momentum a lot and I think we've got to find a way to get that first goal, especially on Friday in front of the home crowd."

Video: STL@NSH, Gm4: Edmundson cranks slapper in off iron

St. Louis is 1-4 in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs when allowing the first goal and 4-0 when scoring first.

"We've got to find a way to put the puck in the back of the net," captain Alex Pietrangelo said. "[Predators goalie Pekka Rinne's] making good saves, he's playing well. Both goalies are playing well. We've just got to find a way to get a couple behind him. The power play's got to be better."

The Blues were 0-for-2 on the power play and are 2-for-24 in the playoffs, 1-for-9 in this series.

"That's what we have to look at right now, whether it's combinations, whether it's ... obviously power play, we're going to have to switch that up right now," coach Mike Yeo said. "I think more than anything, we have to make life tough on their goalie. I don't think we have. When we do, we see some scrambles, we see some situations where I think we can get maybe a little bit more chasing things, but I think we can do a better job of that."

Yeo said if the Blues can bring this kind of effort the rest of the series, he likes their chances to come back.

"I'm really proud of what our guys brought to the table tonight," Yeo said. "The intensity-wise, the way they were committed, the way that they played for each other. It was a real tough, tight-checking game both ways. I think both teams were having to fight their way through it and I think we were doing a good job of that.

"It's frustrating to be down the way we were competing and the way we were engaged in the game. Then we went down with the penalty call and it took us a while to regroup after that."

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