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Predators Prey On Blues

The Nashville Predators finally are making themselves feel right at home.

Kimmo Timonen had a goal and an assist as the Predators beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 Sunday, giving them consecutive home victories for the first time since October and only their seventh in 25 games.

"It's a subject that's been brought up time and time again," captain Tom Fitzgerald said of the struggles at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. "Now we've won, and that should be confidence in itself."

Even more impressive is the fact that the Predators, who hadn't won consecutive home games since Oct. 13-14, beat Boston and St. Louis without top goal scorer, Scott Walker, out with a slightly separated shoulder. The already young team also has added four players from the IHL this month.

Timonen admitted he was surprised by their current success.

"It's looking good," he said.

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Game Summary

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  • St. Louis outshot Nashville 33-24, but the Predators got all they needed in the second period off goalie Roman Turek, who started his third game in four days and shut out Vancouver on Saturday night.

    Vitali Yachmenev got Nashville on the board at 6:57 when he poked in the puck off a pass from Cale Hulse at the blue line for his 10th goal. Timonen made it 2-0 at 7:43, scoring from the low slot.

    Timonen added an assist at 11:22 when he and Drake Berehowsky set up Marian Cisar's seventh goal. Cisar scored a power-play goal from in front of the net against the NHL's best penalty-killing unit.

    It was the first time in six games in this series that the home team won. The victory gave the Predators some payback since St. Louis outscored Nashville 8-2 in winning the first two games this season.

    Nashville goalie Mike Dunham, who had his first shutout this season Friday against Boston, did his best work in the first period when he stopped 14 shots - two on a St. Louis power play.

    Dunham stopped Chris Pronger's shot with his left leg and then gloved Pierre Turgeon's shot off the rebound as he fell back into the goal. Officials reviewed the play but ruled Dunham stopped the puck just in front of the line.

    "Mike was outstanding, especially in the first period," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "He made some key, key saves. He let us get our feet on the ground, and then we played better and better as the game went along."

    Blues coach Joel Quenneville said Dunham's first-period play was a key.

    "He made some great saves. We didn't get that first one, and tonight it seemed that first one was huge," he said.

    St. Louis finally scored in the third when Craig Conroy found Mike Eastwood in front of the net for his fifth goal this season at 5:36.

    Notes

  • The Blues scored at least one power-play goal in 10 of their last 12 games but went 0-of-5 against Nashville, which ranks fifth in killing penalties.
  • Berehowsky and Greg Johnson each played their 200th games with the Predators.
  • Walker missed his second straight game for the Predators, but hopes to play Tuesday night against Atlanta.
  • The third-year Predators welcomed their five-millionth customer.

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