-Photo by Ryan Leopando / Arch City Sports
After over a month since the last time Brian Elliott suffered a lower body injury Nov. 25 against the Ottawa Senators, Elliott returned to action as the Blues lost 3-2 against the Nashville Predators.
Elliott was tested early as he turned away a pair of wrap around tries by Seth Jones and Craig Smith in the first 1:15 of play. Elliott finished with 44 saves on 47 shots.
Both teams traded chances in the first period and with the scored still tied at zero, Gabriel Bourque and Olli Jokinen won the battle behind the net against Chris Butler. Jokinen fed the puck out to the captain Shea Weber who sent a shot into the upper right corner as Elliott appeared to be screened on the play. The goal was Weber’s 7th of the season and gave the Predators a 1-0 lead with 1:57 remaining in the first period.
Then just 50 seconds into the second period, the roles were reversed.
David Backes won the face off in the offensive zone back to Butler who fired a shot that was deflected off the shin pad of Weber into the back of the net to tie the game at one.
With the game 1-1, the Predators took the majority of the offensive opportunities outshooting St. Louis 26-13 before the Blues would take the lead for the first time in the game. Playing in his 400th career NHL game, T.J. Oshie scored his sixth goal of the season after series of back and forth passes with Backes who notched his second assist of the night. With the goal, the Blues took a 2-1 lead with just over five minutes remaining in the second period.
Nashville would answer just over a minute later as the rookie Filip Forsberg fired a shot through the legs of Butler into the back of the net. The call on the ice was no goal however and after video replay, the officials found the inconclusive. Despite the video replay showing white between the puck and the goal line on what appeared to be a goal, the game remained 2-1. But of the ensuing face off, Jokinen shot the puck on net as Bourque kicked the rebound to his blade and shot it into the back of the goal. This goal would count as the Predators tied the game at two with 3:54 remaining in the second period.
The strong play by the Predators continued into the third period as St. Louis was outshot by a total of 47-28. With 10:58 remaining in the third period and the Blues on the power play, R0man Josi came away with the puck on a shorthanded two on one opportunity. Josi slid the puck over to Weber who sniped a shot into the upper left corner of the net to make it 3-2. The goal was the first shorthanded goal of the season for the Predators as Weber got his first multi-goal game of the season.
The score would hold as the Blues fall to 22-12-3 as they have lost five out of their past six games.
St. Louis will continue play Friday Jan. 2 on the road against the Anaheim Ducks at 9 p.m. CT.