The Nashville Predators were without another key player because of injury but defeated the St. Louis Blues 2-1 in a shootout Friday at St. Louis.
Martin Erat, the Predators’ fifth shooter, delivered the decisive conversion with a shot that went in just under the crossbar. Neither team converted on its first four attempts, which included one shot each off the post.
It was the third meeting of the season between the Central Division rivals, which entered the game separated by four points in the conference standings (St. Louis was in sixth place, Nashville was in seventh) and the second straight that was tied 1-1 after regulation and overtime. The Predators won the last one (Dec. 17 at Bridgestone Arena) as well and improved to 3-0-0 against the Blues with this victory.
Forward Colin Wilson, one of six Predators with more than 20 points, was scratched prior to the contest with what was called an “upper body injury.” Wilson played all 82 games last season and the first 37 of this one.
Defenseman Shea Weber, Nashville’s captain, missed his third straight with a concussion and defenseman Kevin Klein remained sidelined by injury.
Matt Halischuk scored his eighth goal of the season and gave the Predators a 1-0 lead 2:16 into the contest. Halischuk joined four others with eight goals on the season, tied for third-most on the team behind David Legwand (10) and Patric Hornqvist (nine).
The Blues got the equalizer a little more than 11 minutes later and it stayed that way through the final two periods and overtime. Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne made 35 saves and St. Louis’ Jaroslav Halak stopped 33 shots.
The Predators’ next game is 5 p.m. Sunday against the Calgary Flames at Bridgestone Arena.