Music City became Battle City throughout regulation and then Heart Attack City at the tail end of the Predators' 3-2 shootout win over the Blues on Monday.
Juuse Saros had another blessedly solid game, stopping 23 of 25 St. Louis shots for a .920 save percentage. Daniel Carr, fresh off the plane from Milwaukee- where he's been the Admirals' marquee man so far this season- recorded his first goal as a Nashville Predator, the shootout winner, no less.
The Preds got out in front early, closing out the first period with a 2-0 lead with goals from Nick Bonino and Ryan Johansen(!). But with Jake Allen standing on his head as he did, the Preds weren't able to net another one for the remainder of regulation.
David Perron halved the Preds' lead in the second period, and Brayden Schenn tied it up in the third. This is not to say the Preds weren't staying productive; they outshot the Blues 24-14 in the second and third periods combined. The Preds showed a level of aggression and commitment that has been absent from their play for some time tonight.
Every one of the five overtime minutes was filled with, well, tension, stress, and anxiety for fans of both teams. For the Preds, it was filled with heart-pounding conviction, dedication to the puck, and gut-wrenching high-danger shots on Allen's net. Despite tallying five official shots in overtime against St. Louis' one shot, the home team was unable to close it out.
After sweating bullets through the overtime period, Perron's immediate goal to start off the shootout made for a grim atmosphere. Filip Forsberg resurrected the Preds' chance at two points, scoring a do-or-die goal in the second shootout round.
It was a gutsy move slotting the new guy into the game-deciding shootout slot. But with zero Predators players having made a successful shootout attempt so far this year, Peter Laviolette trusted Carr enough to perform in that exact situation. Carr scored a beauty right into Allen's twine, and the sound of pandemonium ripped through Bridgestone Arena.
Though they went 0 for 4 on the power play (granted, so did the Blues), the Preds secured a crucial two points as they continue trekking back to the top of the Central Division. Unfortunately, since the game went into overtime, the Blues snagged a point out of it, too. After tonight, the Preds have 25 points and the Blues have 34 (the Preds also have two games in hand).
The Vegas Golden Knights will come to town on Wednesday.