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game recap

Rinne, Johansen help Predators defeat Blues

Goalie makes 34 saves for shutout; forward gets goal, assist to give Nashville fourth win in row

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Pekka Rinne understood a milestone was there to be had. In achieving it, to be able to pass a goaltender he idolized growing up, meant even more to him.

Rinne made 34 saves for his second shutout of the season and 45th in the NHL to pass Miikka Kiprusoff for the most in NHL history by a Finland-born goalie, and the Nashville Predators defeated the St. Louis Blues 2-0 at Scottrade Center on Friday.

"It's a fun little thing," Rinne said. "He's a guy I always looked up to and I was really happy when I had a chance to play against one of my idols, so that's pretty cool."


[WATCH: All Predators vs. Blues highlights]


Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist for the Predators (14-6-2), who have won four in a row and nine of 10.

Helping Rinne get the shutout was on the players' minds in the third period.

"He deserves a lot of credit, like most nights," Johansen said. "He's been stellar to start the year so far and you need good goaltending to win in this league, so he's been the backbone and we need him to keep doing what he's doing."

Video: NSH@STL: Rinne makes 34 saves in shutout win

The Blues (16-6-1), who had a three-game winning streak end, got 26 saves from Carter Hutton.

St. Louis was shut out on home ice for the second time in six games.

"I didn't think we really got to the net tonight," said Hutton, who lost for the first time in five decisions this season. "There was a lot of perimeter stuff. [Rinne] is a pretty elite goalie and he kills a lot of plays with his stick and with his glove. He's pretty good at puck control and we rim pucks and he gets pucks and they're out of the zone.

"It just wasn't that gritty, gritty effort we need against a team like that."

Johansen gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 2:32 of the first period on a one-timer off a feed from Filip Forsberg, who has a seven-game point streak (three goals, seven assists).

It was Johansen's 14th point (seven goals, seven assists) in 21 games against St. Louis.

"Overall a pretty good game for us," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "We started well and finished well."

Video: NSH@STL: Hutton turns away Fiala with sturdy pad stop

Austin Watson scored into an empty net with 47.5 seconds remaining to make it 2-0.

The Blues were 0-for-2 on two power plays in the first period and 0-for-3 in the game. The Predators did not have a power-play opportunity.

Blues right wing Alexander Steen had St. Louis' best scoring chance late in the second period, but his wrist shot from the high slot was high and wide.


Goal of the game

Johansen's goal at 2:32 of the first period.

Video: NSH@STL: Johansen pots one-timer off the post


Save of the game

Hutton's save on Viktor Arvidsson at 8:40 of the third period.

Video: NSH@STL: Hutton denies quick shot, Thorburn clears


Highlight of the game

Rinne's pad save on Brayden Schenn at 3:38 of the third period.

Video: NSH@STL: Rinne stones Schenn with strong pad stop


They said it

"I felt, as a team, we were super excited to play against the No. 1 team in the NHL. It was a battle, but I thought we played a very strong game defensively. So obviously that made my job easier. The few situations that were more difficult, I was able to make the save. I've been feeling good and feeling confident so that's a good feeling to have." -- Predators goalie Pekka Rinne


"We knew it was going to be a tough game. It was a tough game. It was a 1-0 game. They're a good hockey club and it went our way tonight." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette


"A team that's been having a lot of success, scoring lots of goals, so we knew it was going to be a big challenge for us and there's definitely room for improvement. Overall, we'll take the win and move forward." -- Predators center Ryan Johansen


"Execution was a problem all night. We had open guys, whether we didn't see them or hit them, I think that that was evident. And it showed up not in just the passing, but I think you see there were some opportunities where we're missing the net." -- Blues coach Mike Yeo


Need to know

Schenn's NHL career-high eight-game point streak (seven goals, 12 assists) came to an end. ... The shutout was Rinne's third against the Blues in 40 games and 20th victory against St. Louis.


What's next

Predators: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday (1 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Blues: Host the Minnesota Wild on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-N, NHL.TV)


Video: Rinne blanks Blues in 2-0 Predators win

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