The Blues scored just 11 times in five games against the Wild, which won’t be nearly enough against a Predators team that scored 13 times in four games vs. the Blackhawks.
Predators goalie Pekka Rinne allowed three goals on 126 shots, and the top line of center Ryan Johansen, left wing Filip Forsberg and right wing Viktor Arvidsson combined for 15 points (five goals, 10 assists).
The Predators, who toppled Chicago in four games, are the third team in NHL history to sweep a first-round series against the team that had the best record in their conference during the regular season.
James Neal (0PTS; 16:54 TOI) and Mike Fisher (1A; 17:39 TOI) must come alive in Round 2. Despite the Preds’ ability to stifle Chicago in the neutral zone, the energized Blues will be looking to improve their offensive numbers and will be going full tilt.
Paul Stastny returned in time for Game 5 and the Blues are looking forward to having him available full-time.
Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm and PK Subban were nails against Jon Toews and Pat Kane of Chicago in Round 1.
Pekka Rinne (.979 SV%) and Jake Allen (.956 SV%) emerged from Round 1 as the best of the best, ranked #1 and #2, respectively. Each will face a stiffer challenge in Round 2. This duel will be a highlight of the playoffs.
Nashville tries to force many turnovers, and comes at the Blues rolling four lines, but the Blues prove to have a bit more offense, Jake Allen stays on his game and the Blues win in six.
St. Louis in 7.
Jaden Schwartz / Paul Stastny / Vladimir Tarasenko
Alex Steen / Patrik Berglund / David Perron
Vladimir Sobotka / Jori Lehtera / Magnus Paajarvi
Scottie Upshall / Kyle Brodziak / Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester / Alex Pietrangelo
Joel Edmundson / Colton Parayko
Carl Gunnarson / Robert Bortuzzo
Filip Forsberg / Ryan Johansen / Viktor Arvidsson
Kevin Fiala / Calle Jarnkrok / James Neal
Pontus Aberg / Colton Sissons / PA Parenteau
Harry Zolnierczyk / Mike Fisher / Auston Watson
Roman Josi / Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm / PK Subban
Matt Irwin / Yannick Weber