Blues open with 4-2 win over Predators - NBC Sports

Blues open with 4-2 win over Predators
APWF
CORRECTS MONTH FROM NOVEMBER TO OCTOBER- St. Louis Blues' Jaden Schartz (9) and Nashville Predators' Paul Gaustad (28) battle for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Bill Boyce)
October 3, 2013, 11:30 pm

ST. LOUIS (AP) David Backes had a goal and assist in the first period to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday in the season opener for both teams.

The Blues scored three times in the first 9:45 to jump in front 3-0 and chase Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne.

Jaroslav Halak made 28 saves for the Blues and improved to 9-3-3 against the Predators.

Backes, Vladimir Sobotka, T.J. Oshie and Alex Steen scored for St. Louis, which was 2 of 4 on the power play.

St. Louis has won four of its past five home openers.

Nashville, which missed the playoffs last season, is 7-7-1 in season openers.

Backes scored from close range at 2:05, just three seconds after Matt Cullen was sent off for tripping. Backes pounced on a shot from the blue line by Alex Pietrangelo, who added two first-period assists.

Sobotka tallied on a break along the left wing to make it 2-0. He went by Kevin Klein and sent a backhand behind Rinne.

Oshie converted on a pass from Steen to push the lead to 3-0. Rinne was pulled after giving up three goals on six shots.

Nashville climbed within 3-2 on goals by Mike Fisher and David Legwand.

Steen scored a power-play goal at 11:16 of the second period to stretch the lead to 4-2.

NOTES: The game began at 7:48 p.m. local time, 43 minutes after the final out of the Cardinals' 9-1 win over Pittsburgh in the opening game of the NL Division Series. The Blues moved the start time back 30 minutes to allow fans to make the five-block trip from Busch Stadium. ... St. Louis has made the playoffs in 37 of its 46 seasons. ... Nashville coach Barry Trotz is the longest-tenured head coach with the same team with 1,115 games. ... St. Louis LW Brenden Morrow fixed his work-visa problems earlier in the day and was able to play. ... Blues coach Ken Hitchcock improved to 10-3-4 in season openers. ... Nashville defenseman Seth Jones, the No. 4 overall pick in last year's draft, made his debut. He is the son of former NBA journeyman Popeye Jones.

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