Blues vs. Predators: Game 4 prediction

Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban keeps the puck away from St. Louis Blues left wing Alexander Steen during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Friday

Playing hockey's version of keep-away most of Sunday, the Nashville Predators owned wide advantages in faceoffs and shots, cashing in enough of their chances to earn a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues that gave them a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal.

Rinne's 32 saves, plus goals from Ellis and Neal nearly eight minutes apart in the third period, led the Predators to a 2-1 win at raucous Bridgestone Arena, giving Nashville a 3-1 series lead. Another defenseman, Ryan Ellis initiated scoring in Game 3 three seconds after a failed power play with a one-timer from 36 feet out at 10:34 of the first period.

The Blues' only goal of the game went in off Alexander Steen's glove on the Blues' first shot of the second period with 7:01 left in the period.

St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91), of Russian Federation, skates in front of Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, of Finland, left, after Tarasenko scored the winning goal during the third period in Game 2 of an National Hockey League ho.

The Blues will visit the Predators for Game 3 at 2 p.m. on Sunday in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena.

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Blues goalie Jake Allen kept St. Louis in this game before being pulled by coach Mike Yeo for the extra attacker with more than 4 minutes remaining and took his timeout with 1:25 left.

Pekka Rinne has led the way for Nashville with a save percentage topping 95 percent after seven playoff games.

A win Tuesday night would put the Preds up 3-1 with another away game Friday. The sellout crowd was still finding its seats when Sekera scored just 65 seconds into Game 2, slipping a long shot past Gibson for the defenseman's second career postseason goal and his first since 2011.

Nashville is becoming more and more of a hockey town.

Former Jets and Bills coach Rex Ryan also was in the stands for his second game this series wearing a Predators' sweater.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Winning the Stanley Cup requires 16 victories each postseason, and the Nashville Predators started better than any team in these playoffs by winning their first five.

Ryan Ellis once again gave Nashville the upper hand 3:07 into the final period, but Jori Lehtera evened it up four minutes later, setting the stage for Tarasenko's game victor with less than four minutes remaining. "We knew that coming in it's a huge game". You guys see that and get to experience it just like we do, so that's a real positive for us.

"Again, it's the consecutive penalties, we're getting ourselves into trouble", Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said. They were flat-footed in the first two periods, and it cost them. Then, at 4:56 of the third, Silfverberg got his second goal of the game. Lehtera has three points in four games this postseason.

Just after Ellis' goal, Predators defenseman P.K. Subban had his helmet knocked off by Edmundson along the side boards, sending him to the locker room.

"I think it was a really good experience a year ago, playing two seven-game series", Rinne said.

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