Colin Wilson’s breakaway goal in the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Nashville Predators beat St. Louis 4-3 to spoil Martin Brodeur’s debut with the Blues.
Mike Ribeiro tallied his third goal in as many games and added two assists for the Predators, who won their seventh straight home game. Filip Forsberg and Eric Nystrom also scored, while Pekka Rinne made 29 saves.
Brodeur, for the first time in his career, appeared in a game for a team other than the New Jersey Devils and allowed four goals on 24 shots.
“Both teams are pretty even,” said Predators forward Mike Fisher. “All the games have been real intense and hard fought. It’s fun winning those ones you can pull out.”
Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice for St. Louis, which has dropped two straight after opening its four-game road trip with a 3-2 shootout win at Minnesota.
Playing for the first time since April 13, Brodeur was immediately tested by Wilson, but the future Hall of Famer made consecutive stops on the Nashville forward 50 seconds into the game for his first two saves with the Blues.
“You never know how (a game) will start, but getting some work right from the get-go, I was happy to feel the puck and feel the game and feel the pressure of the team coming at me,” said the 42-year-old Brodeur.
However, Wilson got the better of the NHL’s all-time leader in wins and shutouts with a move to the backhand at 9:30 of the third. The goal gave Nashville a 4-2 lead, but Jaden Schwartz beat Rinne on the blocker side at 12:32.
Rinne shut the door the rest of the way.
St. Louis drew first blood at 5:46 of the first period when Tarasenko stole the puck in the neutral zone and scored on a give-and-go with Alexander Steen.
Nashville tied it off a Jori Lehtera turnover in the St. Louis zone. Brodeur turned away Ribeiro’s backhander, but Forsberg banged home the rebound with 5:50 remaining in the first.
The Predators grabbed the lead before the intermission as Ribeiro fed Nystrom for a one-timer from the slot with 53 seconds left.
Nashville opened a two-goal cushion 1:25 into the second period on a passing sequence by Forsberg to James Neal to Ribeiro, who beat Brodeur on a shot from below the right circle.
Tarasenko blasted a shot off a faceoff past Rinne 2:26 later.