The skid is over.
Four different Predators players found the back of the net and Juuse Saros made 24 saves as Nashville defeated the St. Louis Blues, 4-2, on Saturday night at Enterprise Center. The victory snaps a six-game winless streak for the Preds, a much-needed triumph to start a home-and-home set with the Blues.
A hot start led to three goals in the first period for Nashville, and they ultimately handed the top team in the Western Conference only their fifth regulation loss of the season.
More importantly, for the first time in almost three weeks, the Preds got to pack the two points.
"Winning is a lot more fun than losing, and I thought we worked really hard tonight," Preds Captain Roman Josi said. "We can enjoy this for a couple minutes, but obviously we're playing them again Monday, so it's going to be even harder [to face them again]. But it's definitely a lot more fun [to win]."
"The guys played hard and invested a lot," Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "It was good that we were consistent with our game, that guys have been working hard, and the results came tonight. That's a really good thing."
Video: NSH@STL: Forsberg capitalizes on big rebound
It didn't take Filip Forsberg long - just 20 seconds in, to be exact - to give the Predators the game's first lead when he pounced on a juicy rebound and fired home his 10th of the season. Just minutes later, Mattias Ekholm threw the puck toward the net and got a friendly bounce as the feed deflected off a Blues defender and past Jordan Binnington for a 2-0 advantage.
Video: NSH@STL: Ekholm scores with fortunate double bounce
After the Blues cut the lead in half with Klim Kostin's first NHL goal, Nashville's checking line went to work. Rookie winger Mathieu Olivier drove to the net, and Colton Sissons helped to clean up a loose biscuit in front to give Nashville a 3-1 advantage after 20 minutes.
The play gave Olivier his first-career point in his third NHL game with the Preds. He, Sissons and Austin Watson continued to make up an effective trio for Nashville on Saturday as they combined for eight of the team's 43 shots on goal.
Video: NSH@STL: Sissons puts away second-chance bid
"We're getting chances offensively because we're playing [a physical] style of game, and that's how we're going to find success as a line," Olivier said. "I want to be good in that role, and that's really important for me and also for my linemates. We're happy it's working right now."
"He was really good," Laviolette said of Olivier. "He had a couple chances to score, he's physical, he's getting his nose dirty, so he's coming in and providing the element that we're looking for."
The second stanza was scoreless, and although the Blues made it interesting with a late power-play goal, Calle Jarnkrok iced it with an empty-netter to give the Predators their first victory since Nov. 4 at Detroit.
"[Saros], first of all, was great. He made some huge saves, and we played really hard defensively," Josi said. "You start the first shift, you got a goal right away. We got a couple more in the first… It just gives you that momentum for the game."
Yes, it's just one win after six results on the wrong side of the ledger, but make no mistake, this one gives the Preds a welcome boost. Now, they'll get a chance to prove they can follow it up as they face the Blues once more on Monday night (at 7 p.m. CT at Bridgestone Arena).
"We were just trying to get that one, and we got it," Watson said. "When you're in it rough like we were, the first [win is] hard to get. It feels like it just eludes you no matter what you do. So, credit to everybody in here, right down to the staff, to the players, everybody stayed with each other, and we were able to find a way to to get a big win tonight. But it's not even close to over with. We have to bring it. We have to be ready to bring that same effort every time we step on the ice, especially coming up again Monday."
Video: Watson tallies two points as Saros stops 24 in win
Preds defenseman Ryan Ellis skated in his 500th career game, and Viktor Arvidsson appeared in his 300th contest as the Preds beat the Blues on Saturday night.
Arvidsson left the game in the first period and did not return due to a lower-body injury. Laviolette said following the game he did not have an update on Arvidsson's status for Monday's contest.
Forward Kyle Turris and defenseman Yannick Weber were scratched for the Predators.
Nashville will now return to Bridgestone Arena to complete the home-and-home set with the Blues on Monday before hosting the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday.