7:00 PM CT – Nashville Predators (3-2-3) @ St. Louis Blues (6-2-0)
TV: FS Tennessee
Radio: 102.5 The Game
Last time out:
NSH- For the first time this season, the Predators have a winning streak. Pekka Rinne and company claimed their second straight win when they pulled out a 2-1 shootout victory in San Jose on Saturday. Sergei Kostitsyn scored his first goal of the season in the win.
STL- Tonight will be the Blues’ first game since Friday, when they dropped a 5-3 decision in Detroit. Ken Hitchcock’s club led Detroit 3-2 after two periods, but surrendered three unanswered third period goals. Rookie Vladimir Tarasenko pushed his point streak to five games in the loss.
Players to watch:
NSH- Craig Smith
With Patric Hornqvist hurt and Martin Erat banged up, Smith has a chance to assert himself in the lineup. Will he take advantage of the opportunity? Can he build confidence after shootout goals in consecutive games?
STL- T.J. Oshie
Oshie always seems to be a factor when these two teams meet up. He has 12 points in 20 career games vs. Nashville, including four goals in the last seven meetings.
Projected starting goaltenders:
NSH- Pekka Rinne (2012-13 stats: 2-2-3, 2.16 GAA)
STL- Brian Elliott (2012-13 stats: 3-2-0, 2.34 GAA)
Projected lineups from last game/practice:
|Colin Wilson||Mike Fisher||Sergei Kostitsyn|
|Gabriel Bourque||David Legwand||Brandon Yip|
|Nick Spaling||Craig Smith||Matt Halischuk|
|Richard Clune||Paul Gaustad||Martin Erat*|
|Roman Josi||Shea Weber||Pekka Rinne|
|Scott Hannan||Kevin Klein||Chris Mason|
|Hal Gill||Ryan Ellis|
|St. Louis Blues|
|David Perron||David Backes||T.J. Oshie|
|Andy McDonald||Alex Steen||Vladimir Tarasenko|
|Matt D’Agostini||Patrik Berglund||Chris Stewart|
|Jaden Schwartz||Vladimir Sobotka||Ryan Reaves|
|Scott Nichol||Jamie Langenbrunner|
|Wade Redden||Alex Pietrangelo||Brian Elliott|
|Barret Jackman||Kevin Shattenkirk||Jake Allen|
|Kris Russell||Roman Polak|
NSH- Martin Erat (foot, probable), Patric Hornqvist (knee, out)
STL- Jaroslav Halak (groin, out)
Keys to the game:
NSH- Set the tone early… It’s safe to say the Predators need a good start tonight, as they will be facing a Blues team that is especially stingy on home-ice. When the Blues get the lead at home, they rarely lose. In fact, since Ken Hitchcock took over the Blues are 23-2-1 when scoring first on home ice.
STL- Win the crease battles… The Blues’ sheer size can wreak havoc on any opponent on any given night. Facing a Predators team tonight that has been playing better of late, guys like Backes and Stewart need to make life tough on Rinne, out-muscle opposing defenders and be in position to score the garbage goals.
Numbers to know:
- Season series vs. St. Louis: 2-0 Blues
- The Preds are 3-2-1 on the road this season … St. Louis is 3-0-0 at home.
- Since the start of 2005-06, the Preds boast a 16-9-0 record at Scottrade Center. They won twice in St. Louis a season ago.
- Since the start of 2005-06, the Preds have gone to a shootout 13 times vs. St. Louis, more than any other opponent.
- Pekka Rinne is 12-7-4 with a 1.99 GAA and .931 save percentage in 23 career games vs. St. Louis. His counterpart, Brian Elliott, is 3-1-0 with a 1.14 GAA and .959 save percentage in 4 career games vs. Nashville.
- Martin Erat has 6 points in his last 6 games vs. St. Louis.
- Power play: Nashville (14.8%, 21st) … St. Louis (35.5%, 2nd)
- Penalty kill: Nashville (80.0%, 15th) … St. Louis (75.0%, 23rd)
In December of 2006, Jordin Tootoo barreled into Blues defenseman Jay McKee, and the Blues obviously took exception to the crushing hit…