ST. LOUIS (AP) _ As far as coach Barry Trotz is concerned, the Nashville
Predators got what they needed against the St. Louis Blues.
The Predators, seeking their first playoff berth, remained one point ahead
of St. Louis for the final postseason spot in the Western Conference after a
1-1 tie Thursday night with the Blues.
``That was part of our goal, at least come in here and win the hockey game
or not let them gain any ground,'' Trotz said. ``We accomplished that so that's
really a huge point for us. I think it's a good momentum builder for us on the
Kimmo Timonen scored for Nashville, and Eric Weinrich connected for St.
Louis, which has been in the playoffs 24 straight years, the longest current
streak in major league sports.
St. Louis has played 22 overtime games this season and is 10-2-10. The 10
overtimes wins are the most in the NHL and one short of the league record.
Nashville is 6-2-9 in overtime this season.
Before the tie, Nashville had lost three of four games. The Predators remain
one win shy of their franchise record of 34.
The Blues had won their last eight home games against Nashville by an
aggregate score of 30-7.
``This place has been over the course of the last three years a real tough
place for us to come into,'' Trotz said. ``I thought we held our own.''
With the teams battling for the last playoff berth, both played a tight
game. St. Louis outshot Nashville 25-23 in regulation and 4-2 in overtime.
``We've got to find ways to win,'' Blues forward Keith Tkachuk said. ``We
thought we deserved a little better here tonight.''
A power-play goal by Timonen gave Nashville a 1-0 lead late in the first
period. Marek Zidlicky passed to Timonen, who one-timed the puck past goalie
Chris Osgood from the top of the left circle. Nashville outshot the Blues 10-5
in the period.
``We kept them on their heels early,'' Trotz said.
St. Louis coach Mike Kitchen agreed.
``They did a good job keeping us bottled up in the neutral zone,'' Kitchen
said. ``From the second period, we had the better chances.''
St. Louis missed a scoring opportunity in the period. A shot by Alexander
Khavanov was deflected by Tkachuk and hit the right post. The rebound went to
Mike Sillinger in the circle. Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun dived from the left
side and split his legs while reaching with his glove to snag the puck.
It appeared his glove crossed the goal line, but after a video review, he
decision was no goal.
``Vokoun made an unbelievable save,'' Tkachuk said. ``It was incredible.''
Vokoun said he was just doing his job.
``There was a scramble and I kind of put as much of my body in front of the
net as I could,'' Vokoun said.
The Blues beat Vokoun at 16:32 of the period while on the power play.
Weinrich scored on a wrist shot.
St. Louis has 12 games left.
``Every game from here on in is huge,'' Tkachuk said.