Call it a smash-mouth win in Smashville.
The St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators followed Mike Yeo’s lead in bringing the hate in Game 4, grinding out a low-scoring, hard-nosed contest. It didn’t end the way Yeo would have liked, however, as the Predators managed a 2-1 win in Game 4, taking a 3-1 series lead.
This victory leaves the Predators a single victory away from a franchise-first: a trip to the Western Conference Final.
Speaking of history, Ryan Ellis collected a point for a seventh consecutive game with the 1-0 goal, tying a team record. Ellis also “saved” a goal, so he continues to show that Nashville’s defensive strength goes beyond bigger names P.K. Subban and Roman Josi.
James Neal‘s production tends to be hot and cold – unlike Ellis’ reliability – but maybe that made Jake Allen forget that Neal also possesses one of the most dangerous shots in the league. Neal’s 2-0 goal reminded everyone that he can still be dangerous.
Joel Edmundson delivered a questionable hit on P.K. Subban (which prompted a penalty on both players, questionably to Subban), but he redeemed himself later on in the third with a goal to give the Blues a chance. There were some debatable moments regarding the officiating from both perspectives, as St. Louis would likely argue that an unfavorable call set the table for Ellis’ goal.
As much of a breakthrough as this has been for Ellis, Pekka Rinne remains the standout, silencing his critics for another night. Rinne stopped 32 out of 33 shots as he continues his near-perfect postseason.
The Predators have been almost perfect themselves, giving themselves a chance to eliminate the Blues in St. Louis in Game 5. Check out that contest at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN on Friday. You can watch online or via the NBC Sports App. (Click here for the livestream.)