Predators shut out Blues, reach first 100-point season

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- With Tomas Vokoun out, Chris Mason wanted to
play well to put his teammates at ease.

The backup goalie made 27 saves for his third career shutout and
the Nashville Predators beat St. Louis 2-0 on Tuesday night.

The Predators announced on Monday that Vokoun would miss the
remainder of the season and postseason because of a blood
condition. Vokoun has 36 wins and a 2.67 goals-against average.

"It means a lot," Mason said. "We as a team knew before last
game (about Vokoun). But still, it's important for me to have the
confidence of our team. They've been playing awesome in front of me
since they found out."

With the win, the Predators reached a couple of milestones.
Nashville completed a season sweep of the Blues and reached 100
points for the first time in franchise history.

"That's a pretty big number," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said
of the point total. "That's a number that shows a team definitely
has had a good year."

Mason, who shutout the Blues for the second time in five days at
the Savvis Center, said Nashville owed the Blues from when St.
Louis would dominate the expansion Predators.

"I mean in years past St. Louis always abused us," Mason said.
"It's kind of unheard of to sweep, but they beat us up in years

Beating up on the Blues, who have lost 14 of 15, is one thing.
Winning in the playoffs is another.

Blues forward Scott Young said it remains to be seen how Mason
will hold up when the playoffs start next week.

"The playoffs are a totally different story," Young said.
"Mentally, the team has got to deal with the loss of Vokoun and
that's going to be a tough thing to do.

"But you never know. Maybe a kid like Mason could shock
everyone. A lot of people have written them off because of Vokoun,
but you just never know."

Mike Sillinger and Adam Hall scored for Nashville, 8-0 against
St. Louis this season.

Sillinger, traded from the Blues to Nashville on Jan. 29, opened
the scoring at 12:15 of the third period when he got the rebound of
his own shot from the left circle that took an awkward bounce off
the boards. When the puck bounced out front, Sillinger shoved it
past Blues goalie Jason Bacashihua for his career-high 29th goal.
His previous high was 21 in 1997-98.

Hall added an empty-net goal with 22 seconds left.

Bacashihua made 27 saves for the Blues.

"We can't score," Young said. "If you can't score, you're not
going to win."

Neither team generated much offense in the first two periods.
Nashville's David Legwand came the closest to scoring when he hit
the left post with a wrist shot 3:14 into the second period. The
puck bounced out and hit Bacashihua, and he was able to cover the

St. Louis' best chance came at 12:45 of the second period when
Young broke in alone down the right wing, but his wrist shot was
turned aside by Mason.<
^Notes: The Blues went 0-for-6 on the power play and are 0-for-32
with the man advantage in their last five home games. ... Nashville
is 22-8-1 vs. the Central Division. ... St. Louis has scored more
than two goals once in its last 15 games.