Calle Jarnkrok scores twice in Predators win
Nashville gets point in fifth straight with victory against St. Louisby Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent
NASHVILLE -- Calle Jarnkrok scored two goals to help the Nashville Predators to a 3-1 win against the St. Louis Blues at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.
Jarnkrok tied the game 1-1 at 18:26 of the second period on a wrist shot from the slot. He received a backhand pass from Colin Wilson from the corner and beat Blues goaltender Carter Hutton.
"I feel like we're starting to play better," Jarnkrok said. "I still think that we can play a little bit better than what we're doing. We've got to try to get better every day and just work hard."
WATCH: All Blues vs. Predators highlights
The Predators took a 3-1 lead at 4:50 of the third period on Jarnkrok's second of the game. Filip Forsberg created a turnover in the offensive zone, Mike Fisher retrieved the puck and fed Jarnkrok, who beat Hutton with the wrist shot from the slot for his third of the season.
"[Jarnkrok] is one of the smartest players, I think, in the game," Predators forward Ryan Johansen said. "He's so valuable to our club, and yeah definitely an underrated player on our team. He'll won't do all of the fancy stuff, but he does all of the little things right, which helps set up our team to win hockey games. He's definitely a guy we can always count on. We saw tonight he's able to make big plays too."
Fisher returned to the lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury.
James Neal gave the Predators a 2-1 lead at 3:44 of the third on a one-timer from the right faceoff circle. Mike Ribeiro made a cross-ice pass and Neal got behind the Blues defense to one-time the puck past Hutton for his fourth goal.
Predators forward Pontus Aberg got his first career point with an assist on Neal's goal.
Video: STL@NSH: Schwartz rips a wrist shot past Rinne
Jaden Schwartz gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 3:59 of the first period on a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle. He got the puck from Vladimir Tarasenko and took a shot that beat Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne for his third goal.
The Blues committed five penalties. St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock wants to see the penalties cut down and the energy level maintained.
"[Penalties are] part of it, but I think after a while, you start living on one goal, you're not going to win many games," Hitchcock said. "I didn't think we had any energy in the third period at all. It showed up in the first two goals we got scored on. We lost two board battles. Next thing you know, puck's in our net. It's disappointing. We played really well for 38 minutes and then gave up that tying goal and lost our energy."
Rinne made 23 saves. Hutton made 25 saves against his former team.
Blues forward Nail Yakupov returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for three games. He replaced forward Robby Fabbri.
Video: STL@NSH: Reaves delivers a big check on Watson
Goal of the game
Jarnkrok's first goal of the game seemed to change the momentum in favor of the Predators. Wilson made a backhand pass from the corner that went off of a skate and on to Jarnkrok's stick. He beat Hutton on a wrist shot from the slot.
Video: STL@NSH: Jarnkrok ties the game off feed from Wilson
Save of the game
Rinne made a save on a wrap-around attempt by Tarasenko in the second period to keep the game 1-0. Rinne got his left pad on the puck to make the save and the Predators cleared the puck to avoid further danger.
Video: STL@NSH: Rinne uses pad to deny wraparound shot
Unsung moment of the game
Forsberg's defensive play to create a turnover on Jarnkrok's second goal was key. He created the turnover on a stick lift and got the puck to Fisher, who eventually fed Jarnkrok for the goal to put the Predators up 3-1.
Video: STL@NSH: Jarnkrok scores second goal off turnover
Highlight of the game
Ribeiro made a cross-ice saucer pass to Neal on the game-winning goal. He got a step ahead of the Blues' defense and hit Neal in stride with the pass.
Video: STL@NSH: Neal scores off Ribeiro's beautiful feed
They said it
"We're just starting to play the way we know we can play. We're just playing a lot better. We still feel there's room to improve in a lot of areas, but there's definitely good signs. We're finding ways to get points. It's nice to get a couple in a row and a big one tonight, and we've got to keep rolling because we've got some ground to catch up." -- Predators captain Mike Fisher
Video: STL@NSH: Fisher lays a huge hit on Schwartz
Need to know
Blues forward Alexander Steen is one goal away from 200 for his NHL career. … Forsberg got his ninth assist of the season but still has yet to score a goal through 13 games.
Blues: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-0, NHL.TV)
Predators: Home against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-W FS-TN, NHL.TV)