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Predators send Blues to 10th straight loss

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Mike Sillinger got a key goal in the
first minute of the third period, helping the Nashville Predators
remain perfect against the reeling St. Louis Blues.

Tomas Vokoun made 35 saves to lead the Predators to a 2-1
victory Saturday night, handing the Blues their 10th straight loss.
Nashville snapped a four-game losing streak and improved to 6-0-0
against St. Louis this season.

Sillinger, playing in his 900th career game, tied the score with
his 28th goal of the season just 41 seconds into the third period.
With the Predators on the power play, he took the rebound of Yanic
Perreault's shot and put the puck past goalie Patrick Lalime's
stick four his fourth goal in as many games.

"They were fighting and playing hard, we were forced to pick it
up in the third," Sillinger said. "We were getting the puck to
the net, but not capitalizing on the rebounds."

Martin Erat got the game-winner for the Predators about 2½
minutes later. Skating down the right side of the ice, with Blues
defenseman Steve Poapst on him, Erat cut to the high slot and fired
a wrist shot through the legs of Lalime.

"I saw the defenseman backing up behind the blue line, and I
knew that I was going to cut to the middle and try to shoot it,"
Erat said. "We put the four-game losing streak behind us, and now
we have to focus on our remaining eight games."

The Predators moved six points ahead of Colorado and Anaheim for
fourth place in the Western Conference standings.

"We knew the power play to start the third was critical for
us," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "Sillinger got the big
goal there, and that was the window that let us in the game."

Mike Glumac gave the Blues a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at
11:43 of the first period. Vokoun was unable to cover the puck
during a goalmouth scramble, and it glanced off Vokoun's glove and
onto Glumac's stick. The center banged the puck into the net for
his sixth goal of the season.

St. Louis has scored two or fewer goals in each game of its
current skid.

"It is tough right now, but we have been pushing hard," Glumac
said. "The past few games, we haven't been outplayed, but a few
bounces here and there didn't go our way."

The Blues were unable to tie the game despite a 4-minute power
play after Perreault was sent off with a double-minor for high
sticking at 15:04 of the third.

"They had some good chances on the power play," Trotz said.
"They were sitting on top of Tomas and firing away with the
puck."

Lalime left the game with 9 minutes remaining in the game after
colliding with Nashville's Scott Hartnell. Lalime was replaced by
Reinhard Divis. After the game, the Blues announced that Lalime
sustained a torn ACL in his left knee. The Blues felt Hartnell
should have received a penalty on the play.

"Hartnell falls on him, no one pushed him," Blues coach Mike
Kitchen said. "Thats contact period, it's a penalty, you can't
have that."

Nashville and St. Louis have two games remaining against each
other this season, both in St. Louis.

Game notes
The Blues, one of Sillinger's 10 former teams, traded him
to Nashville on Jan. 29 in exchange for right wing Timofei
Shishkanov. ... Nashville right wing Jordin Tootoo played in his
100th career NHL game... Perreault set a career high with 30
assists.