St. Louis at Nashville
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Saturday, March 15, 2014
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
The surging St. Louis Blues have yet to lose in regulation to a division opponent and look to keep the spectacular run intact when they visit the Nashville Predators on Saturday night. The Blues had a 15-game winning streak against Central Division rivals snapped with a 3-2 overtime loss to Dallas on Tuesday but rebounded with a 6-2 victory over Edmonton two days later to improve to 6-0-1 in their last seven. St. Louis has won all four meetings with the Predators, including a 2-1 win in Nashville on March 6.
While the Blues continue to set the pace in the race for the Presidents' Trophy and hold a comfortable six-point lead atop the Central, the Predators are trying to make a desperation late run toward a playoff slot. Seemingly left for dead following a string of seven losses in eight games, Nashville regrouped by completing a sweep of a three-game road trip, capped with a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night. Still, the Predators remain seven points behind Dallas for the second wild card.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), FSN Tennessee (Nashville)
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (29-28-10): Pekka Rinne missed more than four months with a bacterial infection following hip surgery in October, but the starting netminder reminded Nashville what it was missing by making 31 saves Friday for his second consecutive win. Rinne got a lot of help from his defensemen at both ends of the ice as Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi and captain Shea Weber combined for a goal and five assists. "If we win or lose, usually it's the D-men," Rinne said. "The talent we have on the back end, we're pretty fortunate to have that kind of depth in the defense."
ABOUT THE BLUES (45-14-7): A fractured kneecap sustained on Jan. 31 denied Vladimir Sobotka the opportunity to play for the Czech Republic at the Olympics, but he made a seamless transition in his return to the lineup. Sobotka had a goal and two assists and matched his career best with his eighth tally in Thursday's rout of Edmonton. “He’s a big part of our team. He’s a guy that brings a lot of energy and he plays in all situations," said Jaden Schwartz, who scored a pair of goals Thursday. "He’s a guy that creates a lot of offense, but at the same time, he’s a guy that plays 200 feet."
1. The Blues are the first team in the team with at least seven players with 40 points.
2. Nashville has dropped four straight at home, scoring a combined three goals.
3. Blues F Magnus Paajarvi (upper body) will sit out Saturday and F Patrik Berglund (lower body) is listed as questionable.
PREDICTION: Blues 3, Predators 2
Stats and Records