(AP) — David Backes had a goal and assist in the first period to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday in the season opener for both teams.
The Blues scored three times in the first 9:45 to jump in front 3-0 and chase Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne.
Jaroslav Halak made 28 saves for the Blues and improved to 9-3-3 against the Predators.
Backes, Vladimir Sobotka, T.J. Oshie and Alex Steen scored for St. Louis, which was 2 of 4 on the power play.
St. Louis has won four of its past five home openers.
Nashville, which missed the playoffs last season, is 7-7-1 in season openers.
Backes scored from close range at 2:05, just three seconds after Matt Cullen was sent off for tripping. Backes pounced on a shot from the blue line by Alex Pietrangelo, who added two first-period assists.
Sobotka tallied on a break along the left wing to make it 2-0. He went by Kevin Klein and sent a backhand behind Rinne.
Oshie converted on a pass from Steen to push the lead to 3-0. Rinne was pulled after giving up three goals on six shots.
Nashville climbed within 3-2 on goals by Mike Fisher and David Legwand.
Steen scored a power-play goal at 11:16 of the second period to stretch the lead to 4-2.