Apr 4, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) makes a save against St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) during the shootout at the United Center. The Blues beat the Blackhawks 4-3 in the shootout. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators - April 9, 2013 Gameday Preview

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ST. LOUIS BLUES

at NASHVILLE PREDATORS

April 9th, 2013
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN
7:00 p.m. CST
TV: FOX Sports Midwest
Blues lead series 2-1

The St. Louis Blues enter Nashville tonight with one more member of their roster and a four game winning streak.  Dmitrij Jaskin has joined the St. Louis Blues and did participate in practice today, but will not be on the roster for tonight.  The final of four meetings this season, the Blues took the first two of three and would like to finish off their season series with another win.

ST. LOUIS BLUES

(21-14-2, 2nd in Central)

The St. Louis Blues have had their fair share of troubles this season, especially in net, but Brian Elliott seems to have found his game once again and is leading the Blues to victory.  After picking up Jordan Leopold and Jay Bouwmeester days before the trade deadline, the St. Louis Blues have yet to lose a game.  The Blues will be looking to extend that four game streak tonight and will once again turn to Elliott in net for the Blues.

Key players 

 

Vladimir Tarasenko has been great when he is on the ice, but since the month of January his production has been down.  Tarasenko is known to take advantage of Pekka Rinne on the ice and will look to do the same again tonight.  With two goals and two assists in his last three games against the Predators, Tarasenko could be the big difference in tonight’s game.

David Backes seems to be finding his stride again this season.  While Backes has been putting up decent numbers all season he has left a lot to be desired.  Against the Predators, Backes has managed to put up three goals and eight assists in their last 14 matchups.

Others to watch 

Jay Bouwmeester has been hot since joining the Blues and has three points in just as many games.  His plus two rating since pairing with Alex Pietrangelo show that his career is moving in the right direction and tonight will be his first chance to show what he has against the Nashville Predators.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS

(15-17-8, 5th in Central)

After losing Ryan Suter to free agency and moving Martin Erat, the Nashville Predators seem to have accepted that they won’t be making any playoff runs this season.  With 10 players on their roster having played in the AHL for at least a moment this season, the Predators can’t seem to buy a win lately are 1-3-1 in their last five games.

Key players

 

Mar 19, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Nashville Predators center David Legwand (11) skates with the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the third period at Nationwide Arena. Columbus defeated Nashville 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

David Legwand is heating up for the Preads.  In his last seven games, Ledwand has posted an impressive four goals and four assists.  Legwand will be looking to lead the Predators again tonight against the Blues.

Others to watch

Shea Weber is always a player to watch.  While the Blues seem to be having some issues scoring this season, Weber could be the difference if this is a tightly contested matchup.  Look for the big defenseman to use his size to his advantage.

Bottom line

While the Nashville Predators may not be in the hunt for the playoffs, they would surely like to bring the Blues winning streak to an end and potentially keep the Central Division rival from making the playoffs.  On the other hand, the St. Louis Blues know how important each game is from here on out and will be looking to pick up a necessary two points tonight.

Injuries

Jaroslav Halak, Jamie Langenbrunner, and T.J. Oshie are all out of the Blues lineup.  Jaskin, Kris Russell, and Ian Cole will be healthy scratches.  Nashville is without Paul Gaustad, Gabriel Bourque, Mike Fisher, Brandon Yip, and Colin Wilson.

Let’s hope the St. Louis Blues can bring home a win tonight.  LET’S GO BLUES!

-Alex Hodschayan

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Tags: Gameday Preview Nashville Predators St. Louis Blues

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