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Blues rally for Game 2 win against Predators, even series

Vladimir Tarasenko scores second with 3:51 left in third period

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal with 3:51 remaining in the third period, to give the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 win against the Nashville Predators in Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round at Scottrade Center on Friday.

Jori Lehtera scored for St. Louis to tie it 2-2 at 7:39 of the third.

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1 with Game 3 at Nashville on Sunday.

 

[WATCH: All Predators vs. Blues highlights | RELATED: Complete St. Louis vs. Nashville series coverage]

 

"Another one of my goals [is] a big goal for us," Tarasenko said. "After [the] first game, we can't lose this one, so it's [a] tied series now and [we] play Nashville on [Sunday] and have time to reset and do our best."

Blues goalie Jake Allen made 22 saves, 14 in the third period.

"We knew it was going to be a long series," Allen said. "I don't think either team thought it was going to be a sweep, for one side or the other. That's going to be rare in these ages. We're still in for a long series, just have to get rest and go into a tough building."

Ryan Ellis had a goal and an assist, James Neal scored, and Pekka Rinne made 17 saves for Nashville, which lost for the first time this postseason after five straight wins.

Video: NSH@STL, Gm2: Tarasenko snipes PPG from circle

"There [were] things that we did well that I liked tonight, but the bottom line is we've got to win hockey games," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "We didn't win tonight."

Nashville took a 1-0 lead when Ellis' slap shot from the point double-deflected off Colton Sissons and Neal at 7:49 of the first period. It was the Predators' first shot on goal.

St. Louis tied it 1-1 during a five-minute power play. Tarasenko's wrist shot beat Rinne, who was screened by Paul Stastny, with 20 seconds remaining in the period.

"When he has time, it's more setting my position, let him shoot it around me and he did that," Stastny said. "Great shot."

Nashville center Vernon Fiddler was given the major penalty and a game misconduct for kneeing Blues defenseman Colton Parayko with 1:32 remaining.

Ellis gave the Predators a 2-1 lead at 3:07 of the third period.

 

Goal of the game

Blues forward Jaden Schwartz started a rush up the left wing and found defenseman Joel Edmundson coming into the zone through the middle. Edmundson kicked the puck to Tarasenko, who shot past Rinne.

"It's a great play by [Schwartz] and then I probably scream for [Edmundson] to leave it to me and [Edmundson made] a good play," Tarasenko said.

Video: NSH@STL, Gm2: Tarasenko nets second for late lead

 

Save of the game

Allen's save on Neal with 38 seconds remaining preserved the victory. Neal one-timed a shot from the top of the left circle that was headed for the left corner but it hit Allen's right shoulder.

Video: NSH@STL, Gm2: Allen robs Neal's late one-timer

 

Highlight of the game

Ellis made a good read when he saw teammate Cody McLeod checking Vladimir Sobotka. Sobotka tried a pass through the middle of the ice to Patrik Berglund, but Ellis read it, picked it off and stepped into a slap shot that beat Allen top shelf.

Video: NSH@STL, Gm2: Ellis blisters top-shelf beauty

 

Unsung performance of the game

Berglund won 11 of 15 faceoffs (73.3 percent), had an assist and was plus-1 in 16:21. He won two defensive-zone faceoffs with Nashville pressing for the tying goal playing 6-on-5.

 

They said it

"I saw him as soon as I came around the net. Then I went to play the puck and it bobbled off me. I don't know if he took a different route or I went a different way, it happens so fast. It's just one of those things. I'm assuming he wasn't trying to do it. It's hockey and the game's so fast." -- Blues defenseman Colton Parayko on being hit by Predators forward Vernon Fiddler

 

"Kudos to them. They played a good game too. It's disappointing to be up halfway through the third there, but we've got to stay out of the box, maybe get a call here and there, and just capitalize on our chances. We came at them down the stretch but a good goalie made some good saves." -- Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis

 

"I was hoping [Schwartz] would put it right in my wheelhouse for a one-timer, but if you can get it to the goal-scorer, you might as well." -- Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson on kicking the puck to Valdimir Tarasenko for the game-winning goal

 

Need to know

Predators forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Miikka Salomaki played, taking the place of Kevin Fiala (leg) and PA Parenteau (healthy scratch). ... Edmundson was plus-2 and is plus-9 the past three playoff games. ... Nashville won Game 1 4-3 on Wednesday after sweeping the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round.

 

What's next

Game 3 of Western Conference Second Round at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports)

 

Video: Tarasenko's pair powers Blues to 3-2 win in Game 2

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