Chris Osgood made 35 saves in his first game for his new team and recorded his third shutout of the season when Scott Walker’s shot could not beat the final buzzer as the Blues held on for a 1-0 victory over the Predators.
A dump-in by Petr Cajanek caromed off the end boards and was allowed to slide through the crease by Vokoun. Cory Stillman drifted through the slot and backhanded a shot past the goalie’s stick side on the Blues’ 31st shot.
“Petr took a shot from the blue line and it took a weird bounce off of the end boards,” Stillman said. “It bounced out front and I shot it off my backhand.”
“It hit the boards and came right back out,” Vokoun said. “I was afraid to touch it because I didn’t want to knock it in my own net. I turned around and he was shooting.”
Nashville pulled Vokoun for an extra attacker and had trouble generating chances. With time running out, defenseman Karlis Skrastins’ slap shot from the left point deflected off St. Louis’ Shjon Podein and came to Walker, who lifted a shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle over Osgood’s glove.
But replays clearly showed that time ran out before the puck crossed the goal line.
“I knew it right away because it actually hit my glove and the buzzer had already sounded,” Osgood said.
“It’s disappointing, it’s disheartening, it’s all those things. But we can’t just hang our heads,” Walker said.
Vokoun made 32 saves, but the Predators fell eight points behind Edmonton for the final Western Conference playoff berth with 11 games to play.
“We needed two-tenths of a second more and the game would have been tied,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “Tonight was a playoff game. It was fast, intense and physical. Osgood was great and Tomas was great.”
Osgood was just a little bit better, stopping 15 shots in the first period, 11 in the second and nine in the third.
“It’s been such an easy transition,” he said. “We play such a good system and the guys are really dedicated to it.”
In the final minute of the second period, Osgood got his glove on Clarke Wilm’s stuff attempt.
“It was an outstanding effort by Osgood. It was nice to see him play well,” Blues coach Joel Quenneville said. “It was a battle out there. It was an outstanding win for us.”
Vokoun made a spectacular stop on Doug Weight early in the second period, sprawling to get his pad on the slapper from low in the left faceoff circle. He also got the tip of his left skate on Cajanek’s try from the low slot.
Nashville continues to struggle offensively, combining for nine goals in seven games since leading scorer David Legwand broke his collarbone on March 1.