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St. Louis
Blues
33-36-13
Nashville
Predators
41-32-9
OT
19 SOG
44 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTT
STL
NSH
game preview

Blues-Predators Preview

Saturday, 02.16.2008 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

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Blues-Predators Preview
St. Louis Blues vs. Nashville Predators

The Nashville Predators haven't gone two games without recording a point in nearly two months. They'll try to keep that streak alive Saturday.

Manny Legace turned in a strong performance against Colorado Thursday night. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

After suffering one of their most lopsided losses all season, the Predators look to bounce back as they host the St. Louis Blues in a Central Division matchup.

Since a five-game losing streak from Dec. 10-19, Nashville (30-23-6) is 16-7-4 without a pair of back-to-back regulation losses. The Predators were on a 5-1-1 run before losing 6-1 to Chicago on Thursday night.

"Things had been going pretty well for us," said Predators forward Jason Arnott, who had the team's only goal, giving him at least 20 for the ninth consecutive season. "This was one bad game. Usually we are able to recover, but we came out flat. We have to get back to the basics. We can't dwell on this game."

Moving on could be easier said than done. Nashville gave up its second-highest goal total of the season and suffered its largest margin of defeat since it fell 6-0 at Los Angeles on Oct. 23.

"We didn't have enough people who were willing to step up and play Nashville Predators hockey," coach Barry Trotz said. "We just weren't prepared the way we should have been. It's not any one person's fault. It is my fault. It is the team's fault. It's the assistant coaches' fault."

The Predators will try to get back on track as they meet the Blues (26-22-8), against whom they're 17-3-1 since the 2005-06 season. However, Nashville was 0-2-1 against St. Louis this season before sweeping a home-and-home series Jan. 19-21.

Those two defeats were part of the Blues' 2-8-3 stretch from Jan. 11-Feb. 10, but they feel like they've snapped out of that funk with back-to-back victories.

Chris Mason is 12-3-1 lifetime versus the Blues, but three of those losses have come this year. (AP Photo/Darryl Bush)

"Wins are tough at this time of the year," said Blues forward Jay McClement, who has two goals and three assists in his last five games after getting held without a point in nine straight. "I think we are there (being a good team), or getting close to being there."

McClement scored in the first period and St. Louis goaltender Manny Legace stopped 39 shots to help the team to a 4-1 win at Colorado on Thursday night.

"Manny was very good when we needed him," Blues coach Andy Murray said of Legace, who is 2-0-1 with a 1.30 goals-against average in his last three starts.

Legace is 11-7-5 with one tie, two shutouts and a 2.20 GAA in 25 career games against the Predators. He's split four starts against them this season.

One of his main concerns will be stopping Arnott, who has at least one point in 13 of his last 14 games, totaling five goals and 11 assists.

Nashville goaltender Chris Mason is 12-3-1 with two shutouts and a 2.12 GAA in 18 career games against the Blues, but three of those defeats came this season.

Paul Kariya, the Blues' leading scorer with 50 points, spent the previous two seasons with the Predators before joining St. Louis as a free agent last summer. He has one goal and five assists in five games against his former club.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 03 '08STL 2 at NSH 3G. De Vries
Apr 01 '08NSH 4 at STL 3 - OTR. Peverley
Feb 16 '08STL 1 at NSH 2 - OTS. Weber
Jan 21 '08STL 3 at NSH 6M. Gelinas
Jan 19 '08NSH 5 at STL 2S. Nichol
Nov 19 '07NSH 1 at STL 2B. Boyes
Nov 17 '07STL 3 at NSH 2 - SOB. Boyes
Oct 10 '07NSH 1 at STL 4B. Boyes
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%