Saros sparks Predators to 5-2 win against Blues

Jake Neighbours of the Blues battles for the puck with Luke Schenn of the Predators during Saturday’s game at Enterprise Center in St. Louis. (Associated Press)
Jake Neighbours of the Blues battles for the puck with Luke Schenn of the Predators during Saturday’s game at Enterprise Center in St. Louis. (Associated Press)

ST. LOUIS -- Filip Forsberg and Ryan O’Reilly each had a goal and assist while goalie Juuse Saros registered 35 saves, lifting the Nashville Predators to a 5-2 victory Saturday against the St. Louis Blues.

Saros rebounded after being pulled in Thursday’s 9-2 home loss to Dallas. He was relieved in net at the start of the second period after giving up four goals on 18 shots. Saros evened his record to 21-21-2 with the win.

“He was unbelievable,” Nashville coach Andrew Brunette said about Saros. “And he was really good Thursday. It could have been way uglier in that first period. He’s been really dialed in.”

Luke Evangelista, Colton Sissons and Luke Schenn also scored for Nashville.

Jordan Kyrou and Nathan Walker scored for St. Louis. Jordan Binnington, who registered 36 saves in a 6-3 win Thursday against Edmonton, recorded 28 saves. Binnington’s record dropped to 19-15-2.

“They came in here and did a good job,” St. Louis defenseman Torey Krug said. “We knew they were obviously coming off a tough game. Probably a message sent by their organization. That being said, we lacked support all over the ice.”

With the win, Nashville moved to just two points behind St. Louis and the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.

Brunette said he’s not focused currently on the standings.

“I think we’re just grinding. It’s day to day,” Brunette said. “It’s more important to me about playing our game. Let’s build on this one.”

The Blues lost for just the third time in their last 11 games.

“We just weren’t really good at all today,” Kyrou said. “Timing was off, passing was off. Just wasn’t our best game today.”

Two goals in 65 seconds in the third period gave Nashville a 4-1 lead.

Forsberg scored on a wrist shot at 6:48 on a power play.

“Yeah, that was a good power-play goal,” Forsberg said. “I got a great screen by Gus (Gustav Nyquist) and it snuck through. That was nice.”

Schenn followed by notching his first goal of the season on a tip at 7:51.

“It’s great to score the goal but obviously in the bigger picture, it’s great to contribute to a win,” Schenn said. “That’s what I’m most excited about. But I was thinking about it a little bit, trying to get that first one out of the way.”

O’Reilly added an empty-net goal 18:28 into the third. It was his 20th goal of the season.

Evangelista scored on a breakaway at 13:09, putting Nashville up 2-1 in the second period. Marco Scandella missed the puck at the blue line and an alert Evangelista nabbed it and skated in, beating Binnington.

Sissons scored his 14th goal this season 4:11 into the game, giving the Predators a quick 1-0 lead. Sisson intercepted a pass by Pavel Buchnevich and snapped in a wrist shot for the unassisted goal.

The Blues had a two-man advantage for 1:21 late in the first period and made Nashville pay. Kyrou scored on a wrist shot from the left circle at 19:05 with two seconds left in the two-man advantage. A cross-ice pass from Robert Thomas set up Kyrou’s 19th marker. 

Kyrou has five goals in his past five games.

The Predators will play Tuesday at Vegas, while the Blues will host Toronto on Monday.