Blues lose 2-1 in Nashville on late goal by Turris

©St. Louis Post-Dispatch

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Blues ended one streak Sunday. For the first time in 12 games they allowed fewer than three goals.

But the most important streak continued because their winless streak extended to five games (0-3-2) with a 2-1 loss to Nashville at Bridgestone Arena.

Kyle Turris’ ninth goal of the season beat Jordan Binnington far side, breaking a 1-1 tie with just 2 minutes 12 seconds to go.

The Blues’ fell to 32-17-10 for the season and went winless in the now-concluded season series against Nashville, going 0-3-1. The Blues are hanging onto first place in the Central Division by a thread.

Picking up a point in an overtime loss to Ottawa on Sunday, Dallas has tied St. Louis in points, with 74. But the Blues hold the tie-breaker edge for first place because they have more regulation wins (25) than Dallas (23).

The Blues have won only two of their last 12 games overall, going 2-7-3 since an overtime loss to Philadelphia on Jan. 16. If you take away empty-net goals, all 10 of those losses were one-goal losses.

The Blues played one of their soundest games in a while, outshooting Nashville 39-24, playing sounder defensively, and getting better goaltending. But they just can’t get over the hump, not even with the return of Oskar Sundqvist to the lineup after missing eight games with a lower-body injury.

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As was the case in the first period, the Blues controlled much of the action Sunday in the second period, outshooting the Predators 12-6 at Bridgestone.

That gave them a 25-12 edge after two, but it was a tie game at 1-1.

Nashville scored first, with Craig Smith pouncing on a rebound of a shot by Rocco Grimaldi that bounced high off Binnington and down to Smith’s feet. His 17th goal of the season gave the Preds a 1-0 lead at the 7:55 mark of the second.

But the Blues needed only three minutes to tie the game at 1-all on Tyler Bozak’s 12th goal of the season, which ended an 11-game goal drought for the veteran forward.

Bozak sent a shot towards the net that deflected in off the skate of Nashville defender Dan Hamhuis at the front of the net. Jaden Schwartz crashed into Predators goalie Pekka Rinne just as the puck was crossing the line, but there was no challenge by Nashville.

After a lackluster first period Saturday in St. Louis, the Blues looked like themselves in a scoreless first period at Bridgestone in a rematch against the Nashville Predators.

They had most of the offensive zone time, were sounder defensively, and for the most part took care of the puck. The Blues’ best scoring chance came when Brayden Schenn hit the post in tight after being set up on a backhand pass by Bozak at the 9:42 mark.

Binnington, making his first career start in Nashville made his best save — make that saves — when Filip Forsberg broke in after a Vince Dunn turnover for a point-blank shot and then a rebound attempt that Binnington saved.

For the period, the Blues outshot the Predators 13-6.

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©2020 St. Louis Post-Dispatch