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game recap

Binnington makes 29 saves, Blues defeat Predators for fifth straight win

Goalie 9-1-1 in first 11 NHL starts, Tarasenko extends point streak to seven

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

Binnington turns away Smith

NSH@STL: Binnington shuts down Smith in tight

Jordan Binnington makes a strong stop on Craig Smith before snagging the puck out of the air

  • 00:14 •

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues extended their season-high winning streak to five games with a 3-2 victory against the Nashville Predators at Enterprise Center on Saturday in the first of a home-and-home.

Vince Dunn, Vladimir Tarasenko and Mackenzie MacEachern scored, and Jordan Binnington made 29 saves and is 9-1-1 in his first 11 NHL starts for St. Louis (26-22-5), which is 9-2-1 in its past 12 games. Robert Thomas had two assists.

"I think it's just confidence right now," Dunn said of the winning streak. "Everyone's really happy with how everyone's playing. We're really supportive of each other on the ice, off the ice. I think when the team's playing as a whole, it's really easy for us to be successful. Guys are getting points when everyone's working together."

 

[WATCH: All Predators vs. Blues highlights]

 

Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Johansen scored, and Pekka Rinne made 30 saves for the Predators (33-20-4), who had won five of their previous six games.

"Not good," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "They were faster than we were. We didn't play the game fast enough. We didn't have enough attitude in the game. It wasn't a good day."

Dunn scored on his own rebound at 4:37 of the first period to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead.

"Everyone is working together," Dunn said. "We're picking our spots (as defensemen) to jump in the rush."

Video: NSH@STL: Dunn tucks in own rebound

Tarasenko extended his point streak to seven games (four goals, five assists) with his 19th goal of the season at 18:45 of the first period to make it 2-0.

The line of Tarasenko, Ryan O'Reilly and Brayden Schenn, who had the assist on Tarasenko's goal, has 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in the past five games.

It was the first home game for the Blues since Jan. 19; they've played nine of their past 11 on the road.

"It's really important for us," Tarasenko said. "We [hadn't played] at home for a long, long time. Especially against Nashville, this is a big test for us."

Video: NSH@STL: Schenn, Tarasenko connect for pretty goal

Ekholm's power-play goal, Nashville's second in 12 games, cut the lead to 2-1 at 7:28 of the second period, but MacEachern's second NHL goal made it 3-1 at 10:58. He scored off the rebound of an Ivan Barbashev shot.

"If I stay with it, I think I can keep building off of that," MacEachern said. "Our line has had a handful of chances the past couple games, so it was nice to put one in there."

Video: NSH@STL: MacEachern cleans up in front to double lead

The Predators were outshot 30-19 through the second period.

"I thought the first two periods wasn't good enough," Ekholm said. "They were better than us. They were all over us. I felt in the D zone, we were more tired than not."

Johansen's goal with 1:15 remaining made it 3-2.

"We gave ourselves a chance," Johansen said. "Pekka kept us in the game, but our first 40 minutes were just not good enough."

Video: NSH@STL: Ekholm pots PPG off Binnington's glove

 

They said it

"This is a good opportunity to see where both teams are at. Give them credit tonight, they were the better team for most of the game. We need to make sure that doesn't happen tomorrow." -- Predators center Ryan Johansen

Video: NSH@STL: Johansen scores with the goalie pulled

 

"You don't grow confidence in one day. Just in little steps. We really fought hard and worked today." -- Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko

 

"Last time we played Nashville back-to-back games, same kind of thing. We expected that, hard games." -- Blues coach Craig Berube

 

Need to know

It's the longest winning streak for the Blues since they won six straight from March 17-27, 2018. ... The Predators allowed more than two goals for the second time in the past seven games. ... The Blues recalled defenseman Chris Butler from San Antonio of the American Hockey League with defenseman Carl Gunnarsson out with an upper-body injury. ... St. Louis forward David Perron (upper body) will not play Sunday and will miss his eighth straight game. ... Binnington has allowed five goals on 100 shots in the first period of his 11 NHL starts (.950 save percentage). ... The Blues signed MacEachern to a one-year, one-way contract worth $750,000 after the game. ... Nashville is 2-for-38 on the power play in its past 12 games.

 

What's next

Predators: Host the St. Louis Blues on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, TVAS)

Blues: At the Nashville Predators on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, TVAS)

Video: Blues beat Predators for fifth straight win

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