Predators edge Blues 2-1, take 3-1 series lead

NASHVILLE — James Neal scored the game-winning goal with 6:57 left, and the Nashville Predators beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 Tuesday night to take a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal.

Pekka Rinne outdueled St. Louis’ Jake Allen with 32 saves, and the Predators are a victory away from reaching the Western Conference final for the first time in franchise history.

Ryan Ellis scored at 5:09 of the third to break up a scoreless game. Neal then scored with 6:57 left to crank up the Nashville celebration.

Joel Edmundson scored with 3:49 left as St. Louis avoided the shutout. Blues coach Mike Yeo pulled Allen late, but they couldn’t beat Rinne again. Allen finished with 23 saves as the Blues lost consecutive road games for the first time since Feb. 28 and March 3.

Game 5 is Friday night in St. Louis.

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