Blues encounter fifth straight loss, succumb 6-3 to Predators

Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Nashville Predators center Scott Nichol grabbed the stick of Blues right wing David Backes during the second period Monday in Nashville, Tenn. Nichol was penalized on the play. (MARK HUMPHREY ~ Associated Press)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Alexander Radulov stood out in a game when so many played well for the Nashville Predators.

Radulov had two goals and an assist and the Nashville Predators beat the slumping St. Louis Blues 6-3 Monday.

"That was a solid game by Radulov," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "He's paying a lot more attention to detail and it showed tonight. He was dynamic with the puck."

Martin Gelinas also scored twice for Nashville, and Shea Weber and Scott Nichol added goals. The Predators improved to 7-2-2 in their last 11 games. Chris Mason finished with 31 saves.

"Everyone is doing the little things that make a difference." Gelinas said. "It truly was a total team effort."

Brad Boyes, Dan Hinote and Keith Tkachuk scored for the Blues, who have lost five straight.

Boyes put St. Louis in front with his 27th goal of the season at the 3:56 mark in the first. He got a pass from Andy McDonald and converted from the low slot.

Weber had a power-play goal and Nichol also beat Manny Legace to help Nashville take a 2-1 lead after the first period. Nichol scored two short-handed goals against Legace on Saturday in the first game of the home-and-home series between the teams.

"My goal was kind of lucky tonight. I tried to go high and it kind of flubbed on me," Nichol said. "They seem to be going in for me right now, which is nice."

The Blues tied it on Hinote's rebound goal in the second, but Nashville went ahead for good on Radulov's backhander at 16:12. Gelinas' deflection of defenseman Greg deVries' shot from the left point with just 37.2 seconds remaining in the period made it 4-2.

Radulov scored again just 1:58 into the third, and Gelinas had an empty-netter to complete the scoring.

Legace made 21 saves.

"We failed to execute in certain key situations," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "I thought that we did some solid things, but we can't give up that many goals on that few of shots."

The Predators moved into second in the tightly contested Central Division with the win.

"They put a lot of pressure on us in the third," Mason said. "We held on and then got the empty-netter, and that was it."

Tkachuk accounted for the third St. Louis goal at 2:57 of the third period.

"We're battling hard, but just not executing the plays," St. Louis defenseman Barret Jackman said. "We have to get back to the basics until we get everyone working together and get synched again."

Notes: Weber's power-play goal was the first Nashville scored

against the Blues this season. Prior to the goal, St. Louis had successfully killed all 16 Predators power plays this season. ... Nashville center David Legwand left in the first period with a lower leg injury and did not return. ... The Blues have not won a game in regulation in Nashville since April 3, 2004. ... Six of Boyes' goals on the season have come against the Predators. His 27 goals on the season are a career high.

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