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Predators Spoil Blues’ Opener 4-2

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UPI/Bill Greenblatt

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — David Legwand had two goals and two assists as the Nashville Predators ended a lengthy scoring slump against Jaroslav Halak with a 4-2 victory that spoiled the St. Louis Blues’ opener Saturday night.

Kevin Klein got the go-ahead goal at 13:14 of the third, less than a minute after Jason Arnott tied it only four seconds into a tripping penalty call on Cal O’Reilly. Legwand added an empty-netter.

Pekka Rinne was strong in net and Craig Smith had a goal and two assists for the Predators, starting the season strong with a pair of road victories on consecutive nights coming off their first appearance in the Western Conference semifinals. They won despite getting outshot 33-16, scoring three times on just five shots in the third.

Patrik Berglund also scored for the Blues, who were 8-1-1 at home to start last season.

Halak hadn’t allowed a goal in 171 minutes, 15 seconds against the Predators before Smith scored on a rebound shot in the first period to tie it at 1. Halak entered the season with 114 minutes and 55 seconds of shutout play.

Legwand was credited with a power play goal that put Nashville up 2-1 early in the third after his pass across the crease trickled into the net off defenseman Nikita Nikitin’s skate.

Nashville had 31 shots in a 3-2 victory at Columbus Friday night.

Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo landed hard with his back and head into the end boards after getting upended by Blake Geoffrion at 13:16 of the second and did not return. The team said he had an upper body injury.

A taped message from Blues forward David Perron, out since last November with a concussion, drew the biggest cheers in the Band of Brothers-style pre-game ceremony. Perron is skating with the team but there’s no timetable for his return.

NOTES: Blues public address announcer Tom Calhoun worked his 1,108th consecutive home game. … David Backes debuted as Blues captain. He’s only the second forward since 1997 (Dallas Drake 2005-07) to be captain since 1997. … Arnott was the Predators captain from 2007-10. … Halak fell to 6-2-1 against the Predators.

Copyright Associated Press

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