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Road Warriors: Preds down Blues 6-3

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators

The Predators grabbed their 10th win in the last 11 games and improved to 12-1-1 in the second-half of back-to-back contests, knocking off the St. Louis Blues for the 14th straight time with a 6-3 victory at Scottrade Center on Saturday night.

Steve Sullivan and Martin Erat each scored twice for Nashville in the win. After falling behind 2-1 in the first, the Predators once again turned up the offense in the second period scoring three goals. The Predators have now outscored opponents a total of 73-36 this season in the second stasnza.

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The Preds jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 4:58 of the first period when Scott Hartnell tipped Shea Weber's blast from the point by Blues' netminder Curtis Sandford. The goal was Hartnell's team-leading 19th tally of the season. Just 13 seconds after Hartnell's score, Lee Stempniak beat Chris Mason with a two-on-one break with Jay McClement. Radek Dvorak was then credited with a goal at 15:21 of the period after a scramble in front of the Nashville net. The puck deflected in off of Ryan Suter's skate to put the Blues up 2-1.

Nashville took advantage of a 5-on-3 power-play at 2:15 of the second period when Sullivan roofed Paul Kariya's pass to the side of the net. The Predators then took the lead at 5:45 of the second when J.P. Dumont fed a pass to Sullivan in front of the net. As Sullivan was being taken down by a Blues' defender, he slid the puck to Jason Arnott in the slot who buried his 17th of the year. Erat then made it 4-2 with one minute remaining in the second period when he streaked down the left side and beat Sanford to the glove side.

The Blues pulled to within one goal with 4:50 remaining in the third period after a goal-mouth scramble in front of Mason. But just 32 seconds later, David Legwand hit Erat with a pass from blue line to blue line and Erat broke in and slipped a backhand through Sanford's legs to put Nashville up 5-3. Sullivan then added his second tally of the night into an empty net with 1:55 remaining.

Notes: The Predators improved to 24-1-3 when leading after two periods, 27-5-1 when scoring first and 17-4-1 vs. the Central Division... The Preds now have the most road wins in the NHL this season (18) and have tied the franchise record for roads win in a season. Nashville won a franchise-high 18 games on the road in 2000-01 (18-18-5)... Chris mason made 36 saves to improve to 21-8-2.


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