Series (Game 1 of 5)

St. Louis leads 3-1

Game 1: Wednesday, October 30th
Game 2: Thursday, December 12th
Game 3: Tuesday, January 7th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 4th
Game 5: Saturday, March 15th

Predators 0

(1-5-2, 5 pts)

Blues 7

(6-1-0, 13 pts)

8:00 PM ET, October 30, 2002

Scottrade Center, Saint Louis, Missouri

1 2 3 T
NSH 0 0 00
STL 0 4 37

P. Demitra (Blues - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

F. Brathwaite (Blues - G): Saves: 19, Save Pct.: 1.000

R. Low (Blues - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Seven different Blues players score in rout

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Blues put their latest victory away with a quick burst of offense.

If you don't feel embarrassed at 7-0, my word. That was boys against men.
Nashville's Bill Houlder

Reed Low, Al MacInnis and Keith Tkachuk scored on successive shots during a four-goal second period as the Blues beat the Nashville Predators 7-0 for their sixth straight win Wednesday night.

''If you don't feel embarrassed at 7-0, my word,'' Predators defenseman Bill Houlder said. ''That was boys against men.''

The Blues are 6-0-1 since losing the season opener, despite being forced to use four goalies because of injuries, and tied the Red Wings for first place in the Central Division. Their 6-1-1 overall record is the second-best start in franchise history after the 1997-98 team began 7-1-1. St. Louis scored seven goals for the second time this season.

''We're getting contributions from all the lines and everybody is playing pretty well,'' defenseman Al MacInnis said. ''These are games we have to win and we're just trying to take care of business.''

Fred Brathwaite made 19 saves for his 14th career shutout in his second straight start since recovering from a groin injury. Brathwaite's backup job may be in jeopardy when Brent Johnson recovers from a high ankle sprain in 2-to-3 weeks and newly signed Tom Barrasso is ready to play, perhaps by next weekend.

''No problems with the groin,'' Brathwaite said. ''There weren't too many shots, and we came out with all cylinders.''

St. Louis, 5-0-1 against the Predators the last two seasons, outshot Nashville 18-5 in the second period to blow open a scoreless game.

Low scored his second career goal, and first in 112 games, when he beat Mike Dunham off a setup from behind the net by Mike Eastwood at 8:22 of the second. MacInnis got his third of the season on a rush with Cory Stillman and Doug Weight only 33 seconds later, sliding in a soft backhander. Tkachuk made it 3-0 at 10:03 on a deflection in front from Pavol Demitra during a power play.

Demitra, the Blues' leading scorer last season, got his first of the season from the high slot at 17:33. He had five shots in the second period, six overall.

''Finally I got a break,'' Demitra said. ''I had so many chances and he was always there, and it was driving me crazy.''

The Blues added three third-period goals. Petr Cajanek emerged from the penalty box to score a shorthanded goal at 11:42 of the third after the Blues killed off a 5-on-3 power play. Shjon Podein and Dallas Drake scored on power plays.

''I thought we had a great second period and we didn't get careless with the lead,'' coach Joel Quenneville said. ''We played solid from start to finish.''

St. Louis missed a chance for a fourth goal in the third when Dunham made a sprawling glove save on a penalty shot by Stillman with 5:55 to play. Players weren't faulting the goalie, who declined to be interviewed, one bit.

''Dunny stood on his head, and it's 7-0,'' defenseman Cale Hulse said. ''It's brutal.''

The Predators were playing the first game of a seven-game trip, longest in franchise history. Nashville, which fell to 1-5-1-2, got off only one shot on a 4-minute power play that spanned the first and second periods.

Game notes

Predators forward Vitali Yachmenev broke his right hand in the first period. The injury will be assessed Thursday in Nashville. ... Tkachuk left after taking a shot off his left foot with about 15 minutes remaining, but Quenneville said he wasn't seriously hurt. ... The Blues have outshot all eight opponents. ... This was the first of five meetings between the teams. ... The Blues beat Columbus 7-1 on Oct. 17.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press