The Nashville Predators’ place in the postseason will have to wait. The same is true for Barry Trotz’s place among some of the NHL’s legendary coaches.
The Predators missed an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth Tuesday when they lost 3-0 to the St. Louis Blues at St. Louis.
That defeat left coach Barry Trotz stuck on 499 career victories. Only four coaches in league history, including Toe Blake (Montreal) and Al Arbour (New York Islanders), have won at least 500 games with a single franchise.
Nashville needed one point to guarantee its seventh postseason appearance in the last eight seasons, but could not solve the NHL’s best defense or its hottest goaltender. The Predators still won the season series with St. Louis 4-1-1.
The Blues, who have the league’s best record, have allowed 147 goals in 77 games and are on pace for their fewest goals allowed in an 82-game season.
Goalie Brian Elliott recorded his third consecutive shutout and ran his personal shutout streak to a franchise record.186:33. He also notched his league-leading ninth shutout.
It was the third time this season the Predators failed to score a goal. All three have been in rod games.
It also was their second straight without leading scorer Martin Erat, who was sidelined by an injury.
After a scoreless first period, St. Louis got the only goal it needed when Jamie Langenbruner scored at 6:35 of the second. The Blues added a pair of third-period goals against Pekka Rinne, who made 21 saves.
The shots were 24 apiece.
Nashville’s next game is Friday at Detroit, which currently is in fourth place in the Western Conference standings, one point ahead of the Predators.