Duchene scores 2nd goal in OT, Predators top Blues 4-3
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Matt Duchene scored his second goal of the game 2:01 into overtime, giving the Nashville Predators a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.
Duchene’s wrist shot beat goalie Jordan Binnington on the short side. It was the only shot Nashville had in overtime.
Duchene gave credit for the game-winner to Mikael Granlund, who assisted on all four Nashville goals.
“I was able to read off him and score,” Duchene said. “He’s playing great. It’s nice to be rewarded. The big thing for me is, I’m not satisfied at all. I want to keep helping this team and that’s the most important thing.”
Yakov Trenin and St. Louis native Luke Kunin also scored for the Predators.
Nashville coach John Hynes was happy to leave with two points and end a six-game road trip at 4-1-1.
“I really liked how we played. Guys came in and were plugged in,” Hynes said. “We had to find ways to score. I thought we were loose. This was a really good character win. We showed mental toughness.”
Jordan Kyrou scored twice for the Blues, and Vladimir Tarasenko also had a goal.
Tarasenko tied it 3-all when he scored at 8:13 of the third period. Tarasenko made a power move and slipped the puck by goalie David Rittich through a tiny hole at the side with two Predators hanging all over him. Tarasenko has 12 points over his last 11 games and 31 in 34 career games against Nashville.
Rittich played his first game with Nashville after signing as a free agent last summer.
Trenin gave the Predators a 3-2 lead at 4:01 of the third with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle.
Nashville scored twice in the second to counter St. Louis’ two-goal first.
Just 17 seconds into the period, Duchene snapped in a wrist shot from the top of the slot. He had 11 points (six goals, five assists) in his past nine games.
“The first goal of the second, you know, that shouldn’t happen,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “We’re too passive there right away. But I didn’t think it was that bad after that, to be honest with you.”
Kunin, who had an assist on Duchene’s first goal, scored his second this season on a backhand at 7:43.
Kyrou took a pass from Tyler Bozak and beat Rittich on a wrist shot at 12:23. Kyrou’s second goal came on a power play. Colton Parayko passed to Kyrou, who was alone in the right faceoff circle. He snapped in a wrist shot at 16:47.
“I think in the first period, we kind of dictated the play of the game,” Kyrou said. “We were forechecking hard, we were all over the puck making plays.”
Kyrou leads the Blues with 14 points, scoring five goals and adding nine assists. It was the fourth two-goal game for Kyrou. He’s never had a hat trick in the NHL.
“I’m feeling good,” Kyrou said. “I’ve been trying to focus on shooting the puck a little more, trying to get it off my stick a bit quicker.”
This was the first meeting between the Central Division rivals since February 2020.
Nashville has won 12 of its last 17 games against St. Louis — including 10 of the past 14.
“I give a lot of credit to the players,” Hynes said. “They do it day in and day out. The nice thing is we’re getting rewarded. Guys don’t take nights off. Players value playing the right way and being responsible without the puck. If you want to win regularly, you’ve got to be mentally tough and physically tough.”
St. Louis assigned rookie Jake Neighbours to the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL, his junior club. Ineligible for the AHL, the young forward will spend the rest of the season with the Oil Kings but will not burn the first year of his entry-level contract. The 19-year-old Neighbours ended up playing in nine games for the Blues, the maximum he was allowed before his entry-level deal would have kicked in. To take his place, the team recalled Dakota Joshua from the AHL.
Blues G Ville Husso, D Torey Krug and LW Kyle Clifford all remain day-to-day due to COVID-19 health protocols.
Blues C Brayden Schenn (upper body) remains day-to-day. ... Predators D Mark Borowiecki returned after missing four games with an upper-body injury.
Nashville D Mattias Ekholm played in his 600th NHL game.
Nashville: The Predators host Arizona on Saturday night.
St. Louis: The Blues play at Carolina on Saturday night.
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