Predators beat Blues 4-3 in Game 1 of second-round series

ST. LOUIS — P.K. Subban had a goal and two assists and Vernon Fiddler scored with 5:05 left, sending the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series on Wednesday night.

The Predators lost Kevin Fiala to an ugly leg injury in the second period and blew a 3-1 lead before Fiddler poked a loose puck by Jake Allen in the third. It was the fifth career playoff goal for the 36-year-old Fiddler, who did not play in Nashville’s first-round sweep of Chicago.

Colin Wilson and Filip Forsberg also scored for Nashville, and Pekka Rinne made 27 saves.

Colton Parayko, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Sobotka scored for St. Louis. Allen finished with 28 stops.

Game 2 is Friday night.

The Predators jumped in front when Wilson redirected a slap shot from Subban past Allen for a power-play goal at 11:24 of the first. It was Wilson’s first playoff game this year after he missed the first round because of a lower-body injury.

It was still 1-0 when Fiala was hit by Blues defenceman Robert Bortuzzo and went hard into the boards behind the St. Louis net at 1:46 of the second. He left the ice on a stretcher and was taken to a hospital for further evaluation.

After the delay for Fiala’s injury and the arrival of a second ambulance at the arena, Subban drove a shot by Allen from the right circle for his first of the playoffs at 2:22. Ryan Johansen picked up the assist after the Blues were unable to clear the puck from the defensive zone.

St. Louis pulled within one when Parayko slipped a shot through Rinne’s legs with 11:56 remaining in the second.

Subban then set up another power-play goal for the Predators. The defenceman’s shot from the left circle bounced away from Allen, and then ricocheted off Forsberg’s skate and into the net for a 3-1 lead at 12:11.

The Blues rallied in the third. Schwartz scored his third of the playoffs, off a pass from Paul Stastny, at 6:48, and Sobotka tied it with a wrist shot from the right circle with 10:38 remaining.

NOTES: Cody McLeod also played for Nashville after not appearing in the first-round series against Chicago. … Wilson has 11 goals and 19 points in his last 21 playoff games, dating to the start of the 2014-15 playoffs.

 

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