Stanley Cup playoffs three stars: Blues end Predators' winning streak to even series

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Vladimir Tarasenko and his St Louis Blues team-mates proved the Nashville Predators are beatable after prevailing 3-2 in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Blues twice battled from behind to level the series at 1-1 on Friday.

Nashville came into the postseason almost an afterthought, but they swept top seeds the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, the first such sweep by an eighth seed in NHL history.

And after winning game one of their series against the Blues in St Louis, despite the shock of a season-ending leg injury to rookie winger Kevin Fiala, many were looking at the Predators with new respect.

The Predators took an early 1-0 lead on a James Neal score 7:49 into the first period, but the Blues answered on a power-play via Tarasenko in the closing seconds of the period.

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 winner with less than four minutes remaining.

The Edmonton Oilers took a 2-0 series lead against the Anaheim Ducks after winning 2-1 on Friday in the Western Conference second round.

 

Three stars

Ryan Ellis, Predators - The defenceman is having quite a postseason thus far. He picked up a goal and an assist in Nashville's loss, giving him two goals and five assists in the postseason.

Cam Talbot, Oilers - Talbot registered 39 saves in Edmonton's win over the Ducks, giving the Oilers a 2-0 series lead.

Vladimir Tarasenko, Blues - The Russian right wing scored two goals for St Louis, including the game winner.

 

Highlight

Edmonton's Patrick Maroon camped out so long in front of the Ducks net for this score he should have been paying rent.

 

Saturday's game to watch

Game 2: Penguins at Capitals - The series currently stands at Sidney Crosby 1, Alex Ovechkin 0. Oh wait, there are several dozen other players, coaches, etc. involved in this series? You would hardly know that from the media coverage heading into the series and surrounding game one. The Washington Capitals must protect their home ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.