Back home, Preds eager to rebound off 1st postseason loss

Complete effort by Preds leads to 2-1 series lead on Blues

Playing their best game of the series on Sunday, the Nashville Predators regained control of their Western Conference semifinal with the St. Louis Blues.

Ryan Ellis scored for the Predators in the first period. The first two periods of Game 1 looked much like the Blues' entire first-round series against Minnesota, with St. Louis getting massively outshot and goals coming sparingly.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen can only watch as the puck goes into the goal off the stick of Calgary Flames Troy Brouwer in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 25, 2017.

The Blues tied the game at 2 on a goal by Jori Lehtera at 7:39 of the third period before Tarasenko took over. After splitting the series in St. Louis, the two teams were looking to go up 2 games to one in the series.

Ellis pounced on the rebound of a Colin Wilson shot at 5:09 during a power play, slotting a wrister under Scottie Upshall and to the right of diving goalie Jake Allen for his fourth goal of the playoffs. While the Blues held the Predators scoreless, just moments later, Cody McLeod makes it 2-0 Nashville.

Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues players scramble for the puck during the first period in Game 3 of a second-round NHL hockey playoff series Sunday, April 30, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. Country group Little Big Town became the latest to sing the national anthem, and Lee Greenwood sang during the second intermission.

St. Louis, which took eight of the first 12 shots, went without a shot through almost 13 minutes of the second period without an attempt on Rinne. It led to lots of zone time, most notably on the sequence that decided the game.

Despite the highlight show, that scoreline lasted less than a minute, before Chris Wagner's first career playoff goal put the Ducks on top for good.

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Meanwhile, St. Louis will need to find a way to stop the Predators unrelenting defensemen, as they took over Game 3 with a few monster shifts in the third period. Not scoring first has forced the Blues to play catch up the entire series.

The Nashville Predators host the St. Louis Blues at Bridgestone Arena on April. 30 at 3pm EST.

After withstanding that assault, the Ducks added a pair of third-period goals to get back in the series.

"I don't think we expected to win 16 games straight and walk to a Stanley Cup", Ellis said after Nashville's first loss of the postseason.

"It's a great play by Schwartzy and then I probably scream for Eddy to give it to me and he made a good play", Tarasenko said.

McLeod's goal was part of a dizzying flurry during the first 12-plus minutes of the second period.

"I thought that they did a really good job lobbying for that, and I mean every stoppage they're yelling at the refs", Yeo said of the Predators. "The first one wasn't a bad effort by our group, but there are things we've got to clean up".

Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban (76) keeps the puck away from St. Louis Blues left wing Alexander Steen (20) during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Friday, April 28, 2017, in St. Louis.