Preds quiet Blues, advance to conference finals for 1st time in franchise history

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Nashville Predators made franchise history Sunday afternoon with a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues, taking the series 4-2 and heading into the Western Conference final for the first time.

Kevin Fiala was the Preds hype man, but all the momentum from his towel-waving was taken away just over two minutes into the game.

The Blues struck first as Vladimir Tarasenko’s shot went off Paul Stastny and into the goal for a 1-0 St. Louis lead.

The Blues held that lead through the first period, but the Preds showed up just 30 seconds into the second when Mattias Ekholm found Roman Josi for the game tying goal.

Josi tallied his fourth goal of the playoffs and the ninth by a defenseman for the Preds, who lead the NHL in goals by defenders.

Headed to the third period, it was tied at 1-1 before Viktor Arvidsson found Ryan Johansen three minutes and 15 seconds into the final period to give the Preds their first lead of the game.

Pekka Rinne shut the Blues down the rest of the way as Calle Jarnkrok added an empty net goal in the final minute as the Preds take the series with a 3-1 win.

With the win, the Predators advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history.

The Preds will now watch and wait facing either the Anaheim Ducks or Edmonton Oilers in the next round.