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Predators edge Blues 4-3 for third straight win

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The Nashville Predators are 3-0-0 for the second time in franchise history -- even without their No. 1 goaltender.

Steve Sullivan scored his third and fourth goals of the season Thursday night to help the Predators hold off the St. Louis Blues 4-3. Rookie Anders Lindback made 32 saves to win for the second time in two nights. He also finished up Saturday night's 4-1 victory against Anaheim after starter Pekka Rinne left in the third period with a lower-body injury.

Lindback, a 22-year-old Swedish rookie, has made the transition well to his first season in North America. He's allowed just five goals on 67 shots and has wins over the Blackhawks and Blues.

"Of course it is only just two games, but I am learning as I am doing it," the 6-foot-6 goaltender said. "I'm having fun out there. I'm trying to get as much experience as I can."

Nashville is 3-0-0 for the first time since 2005-06, when the Predators started the season by winning their first eight games. They've won their last five against the Blues -- all by one goal.

"I was really concerned," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "I saw St. Louis on a lot of films and thought that they had a lot of detail in their game and they were really playing with a lot of pace. It was a great test for us and our guys responded really well."

Marcel Goc and Patric Hornqvist also scored for Nashville. Matt D'Agostini, T.J. Oshie and Patrik Berglund had the goals for the Blues, who had won their first two games.

Goc opened the scoring 56 seconds into the game by beating Jaroslav Halak with a wrister from the low slot. Sullivan made it 2-0 at 11:14 by scoring during a 5-on-3 power play. Ryan Suter faked a shot from the top of the right circle, then fed Sullivan in the lower left circle for a one-timer into a wide-open net.

"It was just a great pass by Ryan Suter," Sullivan said. "He just kind of froze everybody with the fake shot."

D'Agostini made it 2-1 at 13:37, but Sullivan got his second goal just 15 seconds later, beating Halak with a one-timer from the right circle for his fourth of the season -- he didn't get his fourth goal last season until Nov. 14. Halak stopped his breakaway in the final seconds of the period or Sullivan would have had three goals in the opening 20 minutes.

"I didn't score and they stayed in the hockey game for the most part," Sullivan said. "That's the most disappointing part. Hat tricks are great when they come, but the wins are more important."

Blues coach Davis Payne wasn't happy with his team's first-period performance.

"I don't think we brought enough attention to the first period," Payne said. "We were slow to react, we were slow to move our feet, and we took two penalties based on not moving our feet."

The Blues perked up in the second. Oshie scored an unassisted power-play goal at 8:15, but Hornqvist answered that with a power-play goal of his own at 16:21 to send the Predators into the second intermission up 4-2.

"My goal kind of sparked us a little bit and they got one right back," Oshie said. "One of our key things that we are working on this year is winning the battles every night, and I don't think we did that in the first."

Berglund made it a one-goal game at 5:13 of the third.

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report

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