It was not a shocker that two days later in the same rink, the Blues went to the wire looking for their first goal against the Predators.
The offense had three goals total in its final three games before the break, and despite shaking up their look by moving Alexander Steen to center and switching David Backes to right wing, it could generate little Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena.
But the Blues continued to pressure Nashville and their persistence led to a goal by Troy Brouwer with 1 minute, 5 seconds left in regulation, leading to a 1-0 victory over the Predators.
Brian Elliott only faced 15 shots — a season-low against the Blues — but stopped them all to extend his franchise record to 22 shutouts.
The Blues are now 4-0 against the Nashville this season with one more meeting on Feb. 27 in Nashville.
Three of the four wins have been decided by one goal, as was the case again Tuesday.
A shot by defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was redirected by Brouwer past Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne for his 10th goal of the season. Robbi Fabbri also assisted on the goal, setting up Pietrangelo with the one-timer.
The goal ended a scoreless drought of 145:58 for the Blues, who ended a two-game winless skid and halted Nashville’s winning streak at four games.
The Blues will return home to face San Jose at Scottrade Center Thursday, beginning a three-game homestand.
The club’s first three wins over Nashville this season were all behind Jake Allen. But Allen remained on the injured list coming out of the All-Star break, Elliott his first assignment against the Predators this season.
On Tuesday, Elliott picked up where he left off before the break. Since replacing the injured Allen, he had gone 5-2-2 with a 1.98 goals-against average and a .940 save-percentage. Making his ninth straight start, he had a shutout through two periods against Nashville, stopping all 11 shots.
But similarly, nothing changed with the Blues’ offense during the break. The visitors, too, had 11 shots through 40 minutes, but like Elliott, Rinne kept them quiet.
The Blues went into the third period looking for their first goal since Steen scored against Colorado on Jan. 22. They had been blanked in six straight periods, denied on a combined 48 shots.
Magnus Paajarvi, who was back in the lineup Tuesday after missing seven games with an upper-body injury, nearly picked up the goal early in the period.
Back on a line with Paul Stastny and Vladimir Tarasenko, Paajarvi took a feed from Stastny on Rinne’s doorstep, but the Finnish netminder got his left leg across in time for the denial.
But in the third period, the Blues, who finished with just 23 shots on goal, got the one they needed.
—Jeremy P. Rutherford
St. Louis Post-Dispatch