NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, April 9th
(All times Eastern)
St. Louis Blues (21-14-2) at Nashville Predators (15-17-8), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Blues try to strengthen their playoff chances
on Tuesday night with a season-high fifth straight victory as they visit the
fading Nashville Predators.
The Blues have followed up three straight regulation losses with their second
four-game winning streak of the season. The first one came on Jan. 24-31 and
the club last won five in a row from March 3-11, 2012.
St. Louis' current run has the club seventh overall in the Western Conference
as they jumped over Detroit by a point with Sunday's 1-0 road victory over the
Brian Elliott capped an excellent week with a 28-save shutout, his first of
the season and 19th of his career. He is 3-0-0 with a 1.45 goals against
average and .952 save percentage over his last three appearances, his first at
the NHL level since March 5.
Elliott's current run is coming at a good time since Jaroslav Halak is out
with a groin injury and the netminder was named the NHL's second star for the
week on Monday.
"We've played a good past couple of games here and we didn't see any movement
in the standings because other teams were doing their jobs too," said Elliott.
"Getting a win against (the Red Wings) bumps us up and we just have to keep
building on that. We don't have that much time left."
Chris Porter scored the only goal of the game on assists from Barret Jackman
and Patrik Berglund in the second period for the Blues, who won the opener of
a four-game road trip. They were also without forward Andy McDonald due to
The Predators are running out of time in their chase of the eighth and final
playoff spot currently held by the Red Wings. They are five points off the
pace thanks to losses in three straight and six of their past seven (1-4-2).
Nashville is in danger of matching its longest losing streak of the season
following Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in the back end of a
home-and-home set. The Preds dropped a 1-0 decision to the visiting Blackhawks
the previous day.
Nick Spaling, Shea Weber and David Legwand each lit the lamp in Chicago, while
Pekka Rinne made 35 saves.
"We got beat to the puck on the one goal," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said.
"It was just individual stuff. That's on our (defense). Our 'D' has got to
have that puck."
Getting some healthy bodies back might help as well. Forward Gabriel Bourque
missed his fourth in a row due to an upper body injury, while Paul Gaustad sat
out his second straight with an upper body issue and Mike Fisher missed the
game in Chicago with a hand ailment.
Nashville opens a four-game homestand looking to build off a 6-1 victory in
St. Louis on Feb. 5. The Preds snapped a four-game slide to the Blues with
that win, but have lost two straight -- both in a shootout -- and four of
their last six at home in this series.
04/09 11:04:31 ET