Blues rally late to even series

Blues rally late to even series

Ryan Ellis put the Predators ahead 2-1 early in the third period, but Jori Lehtera tied it 4 1/2 minutes later before Tarasenko's goal ended the Predators' team-record, five-game playoff winning streak.

Nashville had the first 15 shots of the second period for a run of 21-2, and for a stretch of 9:30 the Blues didn't register a shot of any kind until Vladimir Tarasenko had one blocked with 10:51 left in the middle frame.

Meanwhile, St. Louis will need to find a way to stop the Predators unrelenting defensemen, as they took over Game 3 with a few monster shifts in the third period.

Blues coach Mike Yeo says he wasn't "overreacting" by making two lineup changes at forward for Game 4 against Nashville Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. Three seconds after Ryan Reaves' penalty expired, Ryan Ellis ripped one from the point through Jake Allen. Allen finished with 23 saves as the Blues lost consecutive road games for the first time since February 28 and March 3.

If St. Louis wins, Mayor Barry will ship off a basket of a country music compilation album, an assortment of BBQ sauces and rubs from local providers, Nashville-made Goo Goo Clusters, and a special Predators jersey.

"Again, it's the consecutive penalties, we're getting ourselves into trouble", Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said.

After my "expert" analysis of the first two games in the series, I've come to one distinct conclusion. They'll have to wait for the late start thanks to National Hockey League scheduling.

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St. Louis Blues center Kyle Brodziak (28) and Nashville Predators left wing Cody McLeod (55) battle for the puck during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Friday, April 28, 2017, in St. Louis. Maroon spent two productive seasons with the Ducks before they gave up on him in February 2016, but he has reinvigorated his career up north with a 42-point regular season. Roman Josi unloaded a bomb that Jake Allen couldn't see because of a Harry Zolnierczyk screen.

"I don't think we expected to win 16 games straight and walk to a Stanley Cup", Ellis said after Nashville's first loss of the postseason.

The Predators never got the man advantage in losing Game 2 in St. Louis, and they got their first almost midway through the first period.

The Blues have to stay out of the box in Game 4, plain and simple. "So I think that certainly makes a difference". Nashville was in the lead for the second time in the game. Except Preds defenseman P.K. Subban wasn't letting the Blues cut into any sort of Nashville's lead. McLeod became the 13th Nashville player to score this postseason, a goal that even got Laviolette to smile on the bench.

"That's a risky play", Blues forward Paul Stastny said.

Tarasenko, who had scored only one goal in the Blues' first six playoff games, snapped a 2-2 tie when a pass from Jaden Schwartz deflected off the skate of Joel Edmundson. "We knew it was going to be a tough series and up until this point it hasn't disappointed".

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