The Nashville Predators may have revenge on their minds as they look to complete a home-and-home sweep of a Central Division rival.
The Predators will try to avenge a rare home loss to St. Louis earlier this season when they host the Blues on Monday.
Nashville (23-20-4) had won 11 straight at the Sommet Center against St. Louis (22-17-6) before a 3-2 shootout loss Nov. 17. The Predators' J.P. Dumont, Martin Erat and Alexander Radulov were denied by backup goaltender Hannu Toivonen while the Blues' Brad Boyes beat Chris Mason for the lone shootout goal.
"It is sort of one of those feelings where you go in the room and can't believe you lost," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said after that game. "We weren't able to get two or three goals and get a big lead. They hung around, and it went to a shootout and anything can happen."
Still, Nashville hasn't lost in regulation at home to St. Louis since March 30, 2002, going 11-0-1 with a tie. Seven of those games were decided by one goal.
On Saturday, the Predators defeated the Blues for the first time in four games this season, 5-2. Scott Nichol - who had two goals in 37 games coming in - tallied two short-handed goals to highlight a three-goal second period.
"It's nice when you can chip in that way because you're not really expecting it, especially with their power play," Nichol said. "You just want to try and kill (them) off. And we had a couple of good, lucky bounces. We'll take those. They seemed to be going the other way the last few games. It's nice for them to bounce in for us this time."
Mason, who stopped 24 shots, was 5-0-0 with a 1.74 goals-against average at home against the Blues before losing in November.
Saturday's defeat was the Blues' season high-tying fourth in a row - their third such streak since Dec. 9. St. Louis hasn't lost five straight since an 11-game skid from Nov. 25-Dec. 17, 2006.
"I think we lacked effort in certain areas," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "This game was a lot about effort and determination. In our opinion, our effort and determination wasn't strong enough."
Boyes scored his team-high 26th goal and Andy McDonald also found the back of the net for St. Louis, which got two assists from former Predator Paul Kariya.
Boyes has five goals against Nashville this season, while Kariya has a goal and five assists.
Manny Legace, who stopped 11 of 15 shots Saturday before being replaced late in the second period by Toivonen, is 0-1-2 with a 2.23 GAA in his last three starts in Nashville.
Toivonen finished with 11 saves in relief of Legace, but hasn't won since Dec. 7. In seven games since then, including four starts, he's 0-2-3 with a 4.77 GAA.
|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|