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Predators take 2-1 series lead, beating St. Louis Blues 3-1

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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. The Blues are now officially in must-win mode, as they trail the best-of-seven series 3-1.

It's a Game Four Game Night in Smashville as the Nashville Predators attempt to take a 3-1 lead in their second round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the St. Louis Blues. The Predators have now won five of eight meetings with the Blues this season.

It was quite telling when Yeo mentioned that in fact the Blues "weren't even competitive" for a large part of the game.

"We just need to respond well here", Nashville captain Mike Fisher said.

"I'm really proud of what our guys brought to the table tonight", Yeo said. "If we do that I think we have a better chance".

So far in the postseason, neither of them have found the net.

Determined to not allow Talbot to steal the show the way he did in Anaheim in Game 2, the Ducks' Rickard Rakell scored on Anaheim's first shift just 25 seconds into the game. Then the Predators wound up with 23 minutes on penalties and didn't get one power play opportunity.

Neal scored unassisted to give the Predators a 2-0 lead at 13:03 on a wrist shot from above the right faceoff circle.

Ellis continues to kill the Blues. I thought we played well too. "We obviously have to be way better". "We knew it was going to be a tough series and up until this point it hasn't disappointed". This time of year, you have to focus on having a great start, being relentless, not focusing on the end of the game but taking things as they come. They also lost Zack Smith in addition to the contest. One of those belonged to defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, who came close to tying the score, 2-2, in Game 3.

Defensemen Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi also scored, and Colton Sissons added two assists.

The Blues have to stay out of the box in Game 4, plain and simple. A goal from them could open the floodgates for the rest of the team.

Robert Bortuzzo rang the post behind Rinne in the third period's first five minutes, but the Blues couldn't generate any real sustained pressure after that until pulling Allen for the last 4:09. "They took their game to another level, and we didn't match it". He didn't blow his whistle until Steen retaliated, though. "It was deadlocked at zeroes for most of the game and we just got a couple of bounces".

"I don't think anyone's looking past the next game", Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm said. We will make a small wager on this series... losing team's blogger makes a donation to the winning team's blogger charity of choice...

- Nashville's defense is getting a lot of well-deserved love as they have delivered everything asked of them and more. "It certainly makes a difference". Ryan Ellis puts the Preds up midway through the first period.

"It's a hard-fought game", Steen said. He denied Vladimir Tarasenko twice on point-blank looks from the high slot before the midway point of the first period. Then, at 4:56 of the third, Silfverberg got his second goal of the game.

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