for this game

Halak, Blues blank Predators

Dec 27, 2010 - 4:36 AM
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Jaroslav Halak stopped 32 shots for his fourth shutout of the season as the St. Louis Blues took a 2-0 win over the Nashville Predators in a Central Division matchup.

David Backes scored both goals while Vladimir Sobotka and Alex Steen each had an assist for the Blues, who have won three straight.

"We need a good effort through these dog days in the middle of the season," Backes said.

Pekka Rinne was the hard-luck loser as he stopped 24-of-25 shots for the Predators, who have dropped their past four games.

After a scoreless first period that saw Rinne stop 11 shots and Halak turn aside 12, the Blues took the lead 1:45 into the second.

Backes took an errant Nashville pass in the neutral zone and skated into the Predators end down the right side. From the circle, he snapped a shot on net that got past Rinne for a 1-0 lead.

"He made a good shot, hit the side of my head," Rinne said. "It went off the side of my face and went in. It's unfortunate. That's not the one you would like to see deciding the game."

Halak stopped 32 shots in the second period to keep Nashville off the board.

Nashville was unable to net the equalizer in the third and pulled Rinne for the extra attacker, but Backes sealed the win with the empty-netter with just 17 seconds left on the clock.

Game Notes

St. Louis hosts Chicago on Tuesday...Nashville returns home to face Dallas on Tuesday...St. Louis has taken three of the five matchups with Nashville this season. The last time these teams will meet in the regular season is on April 9, which is the final regular-season game for both teams...Halak has 13 shutouts in his career...There was just one penalty in the game, a tripping call on Nashville Joel Ward in the third period.