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Game 61: St. Louis @ Nashville – Back-to-Back Blues


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Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

The St. Louis Blues finally lost a home game in regulation falling to the Boston Bruins last night 4-2.

Nashville had a one day rest after their win over the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 on Tuesday.

St. Louis is 3-7-1 on the year in back-to-back games. Coming into the Bridgestone Arena tonight, the St. Louis Blues are looking for redemption and distance from the Predators. The Predators want to close the gap with St. Louis and Detroit with two points in regulation.

Who will be the hungrier team? Find out at 7 P.M. Central time.

This Year’s Series: 4-0-0 Home (2-0-0) Away (2-0-0)

Looking at the Blues: While Detroit has been on a record-setting pace at home, the St. Louis Blues had not lost in regulation at home since December 3rd until last night. The Bruins put an end to an impressive point-nabbing run from St. Louis at the ScottTrade Center.

Leading the Blues is the ever-gritty David Backes with 42 points. He also leads the team with 17 goals followed closely by T.J. Oshie with 15. The huge addition to St. Louis’ line-up is the return of Andy McDonald who provides a ton of speed and finishing ability.

Looking at the Predators: It was an important game against the #1 PP in the league Tuesday night where the Nashville Predators won on their own special teams play. Nashville would score a PP goal and a short-handed goal to go along with Legwand’s even-strength roofer to win 3-1.

A perfect measuring stick for Nashville was the containment of one Ryan Kesler. Newly acquired defenseman Hal Gill was extremely effective at limiting Kesler’s time and space. It was even quoted by Terry Crisp that “Hal Gill was using Kesler like a snow plow all night long.” Very good sign of things to come from #75.

For the Blues to win: Run and gun. The Blues possess some of the fastest puck-movers in the game. If they can out-manuever the Predators defense, look for the Blues to capatialize by forechecking hard in the neutral zone.

The great goalie tandem of Halak and Elliott have been a nightmare for any team playing them. With an average GAA of 1.81 and an average SV% of .930 it doesn’t matter which goaltender St. Louis puts between the pipes…they will have the chance to steal a game from any opponent.

For the Predators to win: Don’t get goaded into playing a speedy game. The Predators do have components like Tootoo, Wilson, Erat and Smith who can fly into the offensive zone but to get into a loose game against a Hitchcock-coached offensive system is dangerous. Nashville needs to slow the pace and frustrate the St. Louis squad with a defensive lock-down.

Nashville needs to keep the pressure in the St. Louis zone. The longer the shifts for St. Louis (since they played the night before) the better chance the Predators have to wear them down and score the opportune goals.

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