After the Blues surrendered the lead to Nashville in the third period Saturday night at Scottrade Center, Vladimir Tarasenko skated up to goaltender Brian Elliott, gave him a tap and said a few words that could not be heard among the groaning of 19,358 fans. Elliott, who earlier had given up a bad goal, had trouble, too, deciphering Tarasenko in his Russian accent. “He said something I didn’t really understand, but basically it was, ‘I’m going to go get that back for you’ and he did right away. He gave me a pat on the back, got the faceoff and went down and scored.” Sixteen seconds after the Blues fell behind for the first time in the game, Tarasenko netted his 18th goal of the season, then scored the clincher in the fourth round of the shootout, sparking the club to a 4-3 victory. “It’s always like this ... somebody make a mistake and I just try to say some words ... ‘Keep going, we’ll get it back,’” Tarasenko said. “I just tell him, ‘We’ll get it back.’ I didn’t tell him I’ll get it back. We’ll get it back for you because we are one team, you know like one family, and we play for each other.” Elliott recovered by finishing with 28 saves to end a personal three-game losing streak, supported by goals from Tarasenko, David Backes and Jaden Schwartz. The win was the Blues’ third this season over Nashville and improved them to 14-0-1 against the Central Division. The club temporarily caught Chicago atop the division with 79 points, but the Blackhawks later lost in a shootout to San Jose and added a point. The Blues have three more games remaining before the Olympic break, all at Scottrade Center, starting with Tuesday’s tilt against Ottawa. On Saturday, the Blues were looking to bounce back after Friday’s 3-1 loss at Carolina. They entered the game with a record of 2-5-1 in the second of back-to-back games, mostly recently a memorable 7-1 loss at New Jersey. Nashville was paying its second visit to St. Louis this season — its first since opening night — and also was playing for the second straight night. The Predators won an emotional 3-2 game in overtime over New Jersey at home Friday. The Blues opened what appeared to be a commanding 2-0 lead just 3½ minutes into the second period, on the goals by Backes and Schwartz. Backes scored his 19th of the season, deflecting a point shot by defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, just seven seconds after a Blues power play had expired. The goal was the 151st of Backes’ career, tying him with Joe Mullen for 11th on the franchise’s career scoring list. The goal built on the team’s lead, which it opened on Schwartz’s 17th goal of the season in the first period. That one did come on the power play, on a backhanded feed from teammate Chris Stewart from behind the Nashville net. “I was calling for it as soon as he got it,” Schwartz said. “He made a great play and it was a big goal to get us going.” Schwartz’ third power-play goal of the season was the Blues’ 45th of the year, the most in the NHL in 2013-14. Elliott, who had gone the last four games without seeing action, was strong early in Saturday’s game. He made an alert save on Patric Hornqvist with 2:37 left in the first period that kept the Blues’ 1-0 lead intact.
Blues win in a shootout of the Predators
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Feb 2