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Preds lose in shootout to Blues…

Going into the game, the Nashville Predators were 5-1-2 with Ryan Suter in the lineup.

They were 4-6-1 without him.

Well, Suter was in the lineup tonight but the Preds dropped their second in a row – both to divisional opponents – as they lost to the St. Louis Blues in the shootout.

Jerred Smithson scored for Nashville and Pekka Rinne was sharp when he was tested, turning aside 15 Blues shots but, in the end, it wasn’t enough.

Perhaps if the first 10 seconds of the game didn’t count…

Blues forward Andy McDonald bagged the first goal of the game on the first shot of the game, just nine seconds in. It was not the way Nashville wanted to start their first home game in 11 days.

The first period, thankfully, would end at 1-0. Kevin Klein and Martin Erat each took horrindous penalties early on. Klein, with absolutely no reason to do so, set an obvious pick while his defensive partner was carrying the puck out of the zone and was promptly called for interference. Erat, while less obvious, was equally as stupid. He took an unnecessary high sticking penalty along the wall, giving the Blues their second consecutive power play. St. Louis was unable to go up 2-0.

Just as the Blues had gotten on the board early in the first, Nashville decided to do the same in the second. Smithson tied the game with his second goal of the year just 22 seconds into the middle stanza.

In the third period, it appeared Patric Hornqvist had scored the go-ahead goal after banging away at a loose puck in front of Jaroslav Halak. Unfortunately, the referee had blown the whistle and Hornqvist made no attempt to high his frustration with the quick whistle.

Despite being outshot by the Predators 30-13, the Blues needed the shootout to put this one away. And, honestly, even the shootout didn’t produce many shots on goal for St. Louis. Only McDonald’s whiff that Rinne had to make a toe save on and then the final shot that went in, actually were on net. The other two shots were misses.

But Cal O’Reilly, Marcel Goc, Erat, Steve Sullivan and Sergei Kostitsyn couldn’t score either and then Blues took home the victory.

The Preds will continue their three-games-in-four-days stretch when they face-off against the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul, Minnesota on Black Friday. So, after you hit up Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and the Bridgestone Arena Pro Shop (because it’ll be open with GREAT deals!) in the morning, get home, make yourself some lunch and settle in for a special 1:00pm Central start.

* Halak, who was on an impressive streak last time he played the Preds, was on an opposite streak headed into tonight, going 0-3-0 in his last three.
* The Preds put their first shot on goal over five minutes into the contest.
* In the past nine games, the Preds have been without two of their four top six centers. They’ve averaged 1.56 goals per game without them and 3.10 goals per game with them. (thanks to Seth Lake for that stat)
* Between the first and second periods, the St. Louis Blues went for over 17 minutes without a shot on goal.
* This is the third game this season that the Preds have failed to register even a single shot on goal during the overtime session.
* Sullivan has scored just one goal in his last 17 games.
* O’Reilly’s miss in the shootout was the first time he’d not scored in a shootout attempt this season. He’s now 3-for-4.

1) Jaroslav Halak (STL)
2) Andy McDonald (STL)
3) Pekka Rinne (NSH)

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