The St. Louis Blues hope to have Manny Legace in net as they try to avoid another four-game losing streak Saturday night when they open a home-and-home set against the Central Division rival Nashville Predators.
The Blues (22-16-6) have won the first three of eight season meetings with the Predators (22-20-4), including two home victories.
That success has been partly due to outstanding play from Legace, who was named to the Western Conference All-Star team last week and is among the league leaders with a 2.06 goals-against average. He's been particularly good lately, going 4-0-1 with a 1.05 GAA in his last seven appearances.
Legace has won his last three starts versus Nashville while posting a 0.67 GAA, including a 24-save performance in a 2-1 win on Nov. 19 - the last meeting between the clubs. He is 11-5-5 with one tie, two shutouts and a 1.95 GAA lifetime against the Predators.
Legace, though, is nursing an injured right arm suffered during the first period of Wednesday's 6-1 loss at Chicago. The injury, which occurred when Blues defenseman Barret Jackman shoved the Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp into Legace, forced the goaltender to leave the game after the period. He stopped all seven shots he faced before rookie Marek Schwarz came on to allow five goals on 12 shots.
Blues coach Andy Murray claimed Legace's injury was not serious and that he'll be back Saturday.
"He's got a bruise and he didn't have the mobility he needed tonight," Murray said after Wednesday's defeat.
That loss was St. Louis' third in a row (0-2-1). The team had a season-high four-game losing streak from Dec. 9-16 and matched it from Dec. 23-29.
Brad Boyes, the Blues' leader with 25 goals, is looking for a bounce-back performance after he was held pointless against the Blackhawks. The right wing had four goals in the previous three games. He has scored four times in the last three meetings with Nashville.
The Predators have been limited to seven goals in their last four games, going 1-1-2.
They lost 2-1 to Anaheim on Thursday despite outshooting the Ducks 34-16, including 15-3 in the third period.
"We couldn't get it tonight. At the end, we were all over them," said Predators goaltender Chris Mason, who has a 0.74 GAA in his last four starts. "I think we just started to put the pressure on them a little too late to pull this one out."
Nashville did score a power-play goal for the third straight game, though it managed only one in seven opportunities. The Predators' power-play unit ranks toward the bottom of the league with a 15.6 percent success rate.
Nashville's J.P. Dumont is looking to record a point in his 11th straight game, which would break the franchise record he currently shares with Steve Sullivan. Dumont, who leads the team with 17 goals and is second with 38 points, has seven goals and eight assists during his career-high point streak.
Dumont, though, has gone pointless in his last five games against St. Louis.
The Predators and Blues will play again Monday at Nashville.
|Apr 03 '08||STL 2 at NSH 3||G. De Vries|
|Apr 01 '08||NSH 4 at STL 3 - OT||R. Peverley|
|Feb 16 '08||STL 1 at NSH 2 - OT||S. Weber|
|Jan 21 '08||STL 3 at NSH 6||M. Gelinas|
|Jan 19 '08||NSH 5 at STL 2||S. Nichol|
|Nov 19 '07||NSH 1 at STL 2||B. Boyes|
|Nov 17 '07||STL 3 at NSH 2 - SO||B. Boyes|
|Oct 10 '07||NSH 1 at STL 4||B. Boyes|