Blues impose their will, force Game 6 against Predators

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The St. Louis Blues refused to let their season end on Friday.

To the roaring approval of their home fans, the Blues beat the Predators 2-1 in Game 5, shrinking Nashville’s series edge to 3-2.

It was a grinding affair, but the Blues clearly battled their way through this one, limiting the Predators to 22 shots on Jake Allen while firing 32 on Pekka Rinne.

Alex Steen‘s absence ended up being a blessing in disguise, as Dmitrij Jaskin was a big difference-maker in his 2017 postseason debut. He scored the first goal of the contest – the first time the Blues grabbed the initial goal in any game in this series – but it was more than a bit of “beginner’s luck.” Jaskin seemed to be all over the place, firing a whopping eight shots on goal.

Jaden Schwartz also made his presence felt, scoring what would stand as the game-winning goal.

The final moments of the game were fitting. Even with an empty net, the Predators could barely get anything going, as the Blues were flat-out ferocious on the puck. During a Stanley Cup Playoffs when the luckier team bested the more dominant team on frequent occasions, St. Louis simply imposed its will in this one.

One game after officiating was a big talking point, the calls generally washed out in Game 5. The Predators had so little going at even-strength, it makes sense that their lone goal came on the power play.

There’s now at least some doubt for Nashville, as while James Neal and the Predators defense is producing nicely against the Blues, it seems like St. Louis has largely solved the riddle of the dangerous top line of Viktor Arvidsson, Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg.

The series now shifts to Nashville for Game 6. That contest airs at 3 p.m. ET on NBC on Sunday. You can watch it online and via the NBC Sports App; click here for the livestream.