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Predators eye top seed in Western Conference

Apr 6, 2007 - 6:45 AM
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- The Nashville Predators are one step closer to ensuring they are on home ice for the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

David Legwand scored two goals and Paul Kariya picked up the 500th assist of his career as the Predators posted a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues.

Nashville (50-23-8) is in fourth place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of the San Jose Sharks (51-26-4).

"You're going to play a good team in the first round (of the playoffs) either way you look at it," Legwand said. "Home ice is always good and something we look forward to. You never know who you are going to play."

Kariya said it was nice to reach a milestone in a win.

"It was important for us to play well. The last three weeks, we haven't been playing good hockey," Kariya said. "It was nice to get a win, but also to play well and get a solid 60-minute effort. We are in a position to take care of our own business and not rely on what other teams do."

The Predators can finish no better than fourth as a result of the Detroit Red Wings (49-19-13) earning a point against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.

"We played really solid tonight, everybody played well. This is the way we need to play if we are to be successful in the playoffs," veteran center Peter Forsberg said. "Special teams are big in the playoffs. Both lines on the power play got a goal tonight. It's always important to get some confidence, especially on special teams in the playoffs."

Legwand wasted little time in scoring his 25th goal of the season. The center beat netminder Jason Bacashihua just 11 seconds into regulation to record the quickest goal in Nashville history.

Legwand's second goal - and 26th of the season - came on the power play and broke a 1-1 tie at the 12:02 mark of the second period. Rookie Alexander Radulov made it a two-goal contest 28 seconds later with his 18th tally of the campaign.

"Obviously they are a good hockey team. That's why they are at where they are and in the playoff race," Bacashihua said. "When you give up two quick ones like that - one minute you are tied and next you are down two goals. Obviously that hurt us a bit, but we responded well and put some pressure on them."

Nashville capped the scoring at 4:12 of the third period when Forsberg scored with the man advantage. Scott Hartnell, playing for the first time after missing 18 games with a broken foot, was credited with an assist on the play.

Tomas Vokoun made 21 saves to earn the victory for Nashville, which set a franchise record with its 50th win.

Defenseman Christian Backman scored the lone goal for the Blues, who lost for the seventh time in eight games between the teams this season.








  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    NASHVILLE 3
    2ND PRD: NAS - ALEXANDER RADULOV 18 (VERNON FIDDLER, DAN HAMHUIS)
    12:30

    Blues vs. PredatorsApr 5 9:15 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    NASHVILLE 2
    2ND PRD: NAS - (PP) DAVID LEGWAND 26 (JASON ARNOTT, PAUL KARIYA) 12:02

    Blues vs. PredatorsApr 5 9:15 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 1 1
    NASHVILLE 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - DAVID LEGWAND 25 (JORDIN TOOTOO, PAUL KARIYA) 0:11
    STL - CHRISTIAN BACKMAN 7 (JAY MCCLEMENT, BARRET JACKMAN)
    19:49
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    STL 7

    Apr 5 8:40 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    NASHVILLE 1
    1ST PRD: STL - CHRISTIAN BACKMAN 7 (JAY MCCLEMENT, BARRET JACKMAN)
    19:49

    Blues vs. PredatorsApr 5 8:40 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    NASHVILLE 1
    1ST PRD: NAS - DAVID LEGWAND 25 (JORDIN TOOTOO, PAUL KARIYA) 0:11

    Blues vs. PredatorsApr 5 8:09 PM