Novak's leads Predators over Blues, keep playoff hopes alive
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tommy Novak scored a goal and added three assists to lead the Nashville Predators over the St. Louis Blues 6-1 on Saturday.
Luke Evangelista had a goal and two assists; Cody Glass and Colton Sissons also scored; and Juuse Saros made 21 saves for the Predators, winners of two of three.
Nashville kept its slim playoff hopes alive, now three points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the Western Conference’s second wild-card berth. The Predators have played one fewer game than Winnipeg.
Calle Rosen scored and Thomas Greiss made 29 saves for the Blues. St. Louis had won four of five, but the loss places the Blues on the brink of mathematical elimination from the playoffs.
Nashville came out fast, scoring twice on its first five shots in the opening period.
Novak struck first at 4:46 with a nifty backhand from the low slot that rattled off of the crossbar and into the net. Glass, celebrating his 24th birthday, followed at 7:20 when he redirected a Novak shot past Greiss with the Predators on a power play.
Sissons scored an unassisted shorthanded goal at 7:36 of the second, breaking down the right side before snapping off a wrist shot that beat Greiss on the far side. Evangelista’s goal at 13:27 sent the Predators into the second intermission up 4-0.
Rosen spoiled Saros’ shutout bid at 8:36 of the third with a long-range wrist shot through traffic. Trenin scored an unassisted goal at 11:49 and Tomasino, playing his 100th career game, notched a power-play goal at 18:06.
The Blues' struggling penalty kill went 2-4 Saturday. In their previous three games, St. Louis successfully killed off just three of their opponents’ last 11 opportunities on the power play.
St. Louis began Saturday ranked 28th in penalty kills at 73.8%. Coincidentally, the Predators had the league’s 28th-ranked power play at 17.2%.
Predators defenseman Spencer Stastney made his NHL debut. He was selected in the fifth round in 2018 draft and turned pro after playing four seasons at the University of Notre Dame.
Prior to the game’s opening faceoff, the Predators held a moment of silence for the six victims of Monday's shooting at Nashville’s Covenant School and for the nine service members who died when two Black Hawks crashed Wednesday at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
The Predators also had Covenant School patches sewn onto the left shoulders of their jerseys.
Predators: Visit the Dallas Stars on Monday.
Blues: Host the Boston Bruins on Sunday.
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