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Recap: Predators , Blues
Date: October 08, 2011 8:00 PM EDT
  

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Pekka Rinne saw a lot of pucks at one end. The Nashville Predators did a lot with not many shots on the other end.

David Legwand had two goals and two assists as the Predators ended a lengthy scoring slump against Jaroslav Halak with a 4-2 victory that spoiled the St. Louis Blues' opener Saturday night.

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``We played a little rope-a-dope,' coach Barry Trotz said. ``We got great goaltending and won the game on special teams.'

Defenseman Kevin Klein got the go-ahead goal at 13:14 of the third, less than a minute after Jason Arnott tied it only four seconds into a tripping penalty call on Cal O'Reilly. Legwand added an empty-netter.

``Obviously, I think defense first,' Klein said. ``But they definitely talked to me before the year and said they want everyone to jump in the play and be a two-way defenseman.'

Blues coach Davis Payne called Klein's goal ``a back-breaker.' Forward T.J. Oshie thought he may have screened Halak.

``A little miscommunication in the D-zone,' Oshie said. ``I don't even know if he saw it. Just a small mistake and they capitalized on it.'

Craig Smith had a goal and two assists for the Predators, starting the season strong with a pair of road victories on consecutive nights coming off their first appearance in the Western Conference semifinals. They won despite getting outshot 33-16, scoring three times on just five shots in the third.

``Two divisions opponents, too, going into their barn and winning,' Legwand said. ``Weathering the storm, that's big for our team and our confidence.'

Patrik Berglund also scored for the Blues, who were 8-1-1 at home to start last season.

``We'll call this speed bump in the road No. 1, nothing to panic about,' captain David Backes said. ``We outshot them 2 to 1, we just didn't bury our chances, and they did.'

Halak hadn't allowed a goal in 171 minutes, 15 seconds against the Predators before Smith scored on a rebound shot in the first period to tie it at 1. Halak entered the season with 114 minutes and 55 seconds of shutout play.

``It's really tough to stand there, to get one shot in five minutes and then wait for another one,' Halak said. ``They always want to play a tight game, score a few lucky goals or a few bounces. It's hard to play against this team.'

Legwand was credited with a power-play goal that put Nashville up 2-1 early in the third after his pass across the crease trickled into the net off defenseman Nikita Nikitin's skate.

``At times we clicked,' Payne said ``At times they misfired.'

Nashville had 31 shots in a 3-2 victory at Columbus on Friday night.

Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo landed hard with his back and head into the end boards after getting upended by Blake Geoffrion at 13:16 of the second and did not return. The team said he had an upper body injury.

``No update for right now,' Payne said. ``We'll just check back on him in the morning. A little bit awkward situation.'

A taped message from Blues forward David Perron, out since last November with a concussion, drew the biggest cheers in the Band of Brothers-style pre-game ceremony. Perron is skating with the team, but there's no timetable for his return.

NOTES: Blues public address announcer Tom Calhoun worked his 1,108th consecutive home game. ... Backes debuted as Blues captain. He's only the second forward since 1997 (Dallas Drake 2005-07) to be captain since 1997. ... Arnott was the Predators captain from 2007-10. ... Halak fell to 6-2-1 against the Predators.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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