ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators will battle this afternoon at 3 p.m. at Scottrade Center (FSMW, KMOX), and third place in the Central Division is on the line.
Finishing third in the Western Conference could be the difference between facing the Minnesota Wild in the first round - a team that once held a solid lead in the West but has won just two of their last 10 games - or the Chicago Blackhawks, who have 50 wins and just clinched the regular-season Western Conference title by reaching 107 points.
So… there's a lot on the line tonight.
"We wanted to get into the playoffs, that was goal No. 1 and we're there now," said Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo. "That's something we should be very pleased about. Now we want to make sure that we're on top of our game and we're in a good spot as we go in."
Currently, the Blues and Predators are tied with 91 points each. By virtue of regulation and overtime wins, the Blues hold the tiebreaker over Nashville and therefore have third place in the Division while Nashville sits in the final Wild Card spot. The Blues also have one game in hand on the Predators.
In the season series, it's Nashville that has the edge. The Blues are 1-3-0 against Nashville this season, with their only win coming on Nov. 19 at Scottrade Center (3-1).
"It will be a fun game," Yeo said of today's matchup. "I'm glad that we're playing big, meaningful games at this time of the year. Hard games that force you to be your best. It challenges you to be better as a group."
Video: Yeo goes one-on-one with Strickland