Predators lose fourth straight as St. Louis plays penalty free

Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 11:34pm
Staff reports

Pekka Rinne was good.

Jaroslav Halak was just better.

The St. Louis Blues goalie stopped all 35 shots that came his way Sunday night. His counterpart in the Nashville Predators’ net, Rinne, knocked away 24 shots. But the one he allowed through was the difference in the game as the Nashville Predators fell 2-0 on the road.

Rinne, in just his second game back in the net after missing nine games due to minor knee surgery, saved 24 of 25 shots. Just 1:45 into the second period, the Blues’ David Backes wristed a shot from the right side past Rinne. Backes also provided the game’s only other goal — an empty-netter with 16.8 seconds left in the game.

It was the fourth straight loss for the Predators, who have scored just three goals during that stretch. Shea Weber led the squad with six shots but he and his teammates had no answer for Halak, who recorded his fourth shutout of the season.

The Blues, who have won three in a row, also helped themselves by not committing a penalty. The last time they played a penalty-free game was April 1, 2004. The Predators were whistled for a penalty just once — when Joel Ward was called for tripping with 4:47 left.

The loss snapped Nashville’s five-game winning streak in St. Louis. The Predators return to the ice at 7 p.m. on Tuesday when they host the Dallas Stars at Bridgestone Arena.