Tarasenko scores 2, Blues beat Predators 3-2 to even series

Blues 3 Predators 2

ST. LOUIS — Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal with 3:51 left to give the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators in Game 2 on Friday night to tie the Western Conference semifinal series.

Jori Lehtera also scored for the Blues, and Jake Allen stopped 22 shots — including 14 in the third period.

Ryan Ellis had a goal and an assist and James Neal also scored for the Predators, who had their franchise-high five-game post-season winning streak snapped. Pekka Rinne finished with 17 saves.

Game 3 is Sunday at Nashville, Tennessee.

Tarasenko’s game-winner came on lucky bounce. Jaden Schwartz led the rush and initially tried to pass it to Carl Gunnarsson, but the pass was off the mark and bounced off of Gunnarsson’s foot right to Tarasenko’s stick.

It was the first lead for St. Louis in 116:09 of the series.

Ellis put the Predators ahead 2-1 at 3:07 of the third period as he took advantage of a turnover by Vladimir Sobotka and fired a slap shot past Allen.

Lehtera tied it at 7:39. Colton Parayko’s shot came loose in front of the net and Patrik Berglund took a whack at it before Lehtera buried it for his first goal of the post-season.

Neal gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 7:49 of the first period. Ellis took the shot from the point and it deflected off Colton Sissons and then Neal before deflecting over Allen and into the net.

Tarasenko tied it 1-1 with a power-play goal with 19.4 seconds left in the opening period. It came after Nashville’s Vernon Fiddler received a 5-minute major and game misconduct penalty for kneeing Parayko, who limped to the locker room but returned in the second period.

It was the Blues’ lone power-play goal in five chances. St. Louis is just 2 for 21 with the man-advantage, last among all post-season teams.


Former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, who has a house in Nashville, attended the game wearing a Predators jersey.

NOTES: Predators D P.K. Subban, a Toronto native, spent Thursday’s day off at Busch Stadium watching the Blue Jays play the Cardinals in an interleague doubleheader. … Nashville recalled G Marek Mazanec from Milwaukee (AHL) on Thursday. … Blues F Ivan Barbashev was in the lineup after sitting out Game 1, replacing F Magnus Paajarvi, who was a healthy scratch.

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