(Photo by: John Russell/Getty Images)
16:37 in the second period, Alexander Steen unknowingly scored the game winner for the St. Louis Blues in their 1-0 defeat over the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.
Steen’s cannon from the left wing broke the scoreless stalemate and put the only goal on the scoreboard Tuesday night.
This comes as little surprise from the Predators’ point of view as they have been offensively challenged as of late. In their past three games, Nashville has been held to only three goals, with all three coming in one contest.
Tuesday night, the offense declined say “here” during pregame roll call, as they were able to only muster up fifteen shots on net (4-6-5).
Injured scorers Colin Wilson, Gabriel Bourque and Mike Fisher are certainly being missed by the coaching staff, players and fans. There has yet to be one guy on the roster to step up consistently in their absence, which makes it frustrating to win games.
On the positive side of those injuries, it has allowed Chris Mueller, Austin Watson and Daniel Bang the opportunity of a lifetime to play in the NHL. Unfortunately, they have been slow coming out of the gates and have not contributed much offensively.
“They’re getting a great opportunity right now to show what they’re all about at this part of their career,” said associate coach Peter Horachek. “They are working hard and trying their best, we just have to be patient.”
“They played pretty well as a group,” said head coach Barry Trotz. “Some of them played a little bit over their head in certain situations.”
“We’re getting to find out a lot about the young guys.”
Bang’s debut: Daniel Bang made his NHL debut Tuesday night, one he would like to forget. The 25 year old played on the fourth line with Chris Mueller and Bobby Butler to start the game, and played a total of 8:30 of time on ice.
“[Dean Evason] told me yesterday I was going down here, so it’s been pretty intense,” said Bang. “The game went so much faster here.”
Bang wasn’t expected much, but as a forward, it has to hurt when being held scoreless in a game that meant so much.
Spaling big in the dot: When looking at the positives of the game, the coaching staff will have to look to Nick Spaling and his faceoff percentage in the dot when looking at the stats the following day. Spaling was an excellent 10-for-14, winning 71% of his draws.
What’s next for the Predators?: Here is a quote from Trotz that sums it up…
“Credit to our leadership. They don’t feel sorry for themselves. We want to finish as strong as we can. Everyone is indefinite right now. There is no quit in our game and when they announce us ‘dead’ at the end of the season, then that is the time we’ll reevaluate. It is important to teach the young guys that there is no quit in the Nashville Predators.”
Goals and Assists
1-0 STL: Alexander Steen – Sobotka and Perron at 16:37 in the 2nd
My Three Stars of the Game
1. Alexander Steen: Goal
2. Brian Elliott: Shutout, 15 saves
3. Pekka Rinne: 25 saves
Predators scratches: #12 C Mike Fisher (hand), #18 W Brandon Yip (lower body), #28 C Paul Gaustad (groin) and #57 W Gabriel Bourque (upper body)
Blues scratches: #4 D Kris Russell, #12 C Scott Nichol (soreness), #26 W Dmitrij Jaskin, #28 D Ian Cole and #41 G Jaroslav Halak