NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As the Los Angeles Kings showed the NHL last year, the key to winning the Stanley Cup isn't being the best team, but getting hot at the right time. Perhaps St. Louis took note.
The Blues extended their season-best winning streak to five games with a 1-0 win over the Nashville Predators at the Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night. Alexander Steen's second-period goal was the difference.
Goalie Brian Elliott, named the NHL's Second Star of the Week for his performance in three games last week, continued his winning ways by registering his second consecutive shutout. He turned away 15 Nashville shots.
St. Louis (22-14-2) moved into a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference standings. With 3 1/2 weeks to play in the regular season, the Blues have an added advantage of having at least one more game to play than their conference competitors, two in some cases.
Meanwhile, the Predators (15-18-8) are five behind the eighth-place Detroit Red Wings. With just seven games left, things are looking bleak for Nashville to keep alive its streak of three consecutive playoff appearances.
The last time the Blues and Preds met (Feb. 5), Nashville tied a season high with six goals, on just 19 shots. This one was quite different, as high-quality scoring chances were few and far between for Nashville.
The teams combined for just 10 shots on goal in a scoreless first period, with the Blues having four of them.
At 16:37 of the second period, a wide-open Steen blasted home a slap shot from the top of the left circle that got just between Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne and the left post.
Even when Nashville pulled Rinne in the final minute, neither of its two shots found the net, including a pad save by Elliott at point-blank range with about a second left.
Rinne made 25 saves.
The Predators, now riding a four-game losing streak, will play the second game of a four-game homestand Friday against the Dallas Stars.
The Blues travel to Minnesota on Thursday and to Columbus on Friday before playing seven of their final eight games at home.
NOTES: Nashville forward Daniel Bang (pronounced "Bawng") made his NHL debut. Bang, a 25-year-old left wing, played in the first period after being recalled from AHL Milwaukee earlier in the day. ... The Blues also made a move earlier Tuesday, recalling 20-year-old forward Dmitrij Jaskin ("YEAH-skin"). The Blues' second-round pick in 2011 was a scratch. He still hasn't made his NHL debut. ... Nashville's Mike Fisher, who hurt his hand blocking a shot on March 28, was a scratch again. He hasn't played since that day. ... Rinne made his seventh straight start.