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Blues look to continue run against Predators

by Corey Masisak

BLUES (41-14-6) at PREDATORS (26-26-10)


Last 10: St. Louis 6-3-1; Nashville 3-4-3

Season series: This is the fourth game of the season between the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators. The Blues have won each of the first three, and have won eight of the past nine games against the Nashville Predators dating back to Feb. 23, 2012.

Big story: The Blues will go for a third straight victory since trading for goaltender Ryan Miller and try to stay ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks in the Central Division race, while Pekka Rinne will be looking for his first victory since returning from hip surgery for the Predators.

Team Scope:

Blues: The Miller Era is off to a strong start in St. Louis. The Blues have won each of Miller's starts since acquiring him from the Buffalo Sabres. They've defeated two playoff contenders in the Phoenix Coyotes and Tampa Bay Lightning, and he's stopped 38 of 42 shots.

The win against Tampa Bay on Tuesday was Miller's first experience playing at home for the Blues at Scottrade Center.

"I think it's a great sports town," Miller said. "Everybody's been telling me how great the fans are, and how much they care about their sports teams and all the different sports. I think that's pretty cool. I'm excited to be here and I wanted to go out and show what I can do out there."

Predators: While the Blues are pushing for the top spot in the NHL standings, the Predators are stuck at the bottom of the Central Division standings. Rinne is back and they are six points from the eighth playoff spot, but the Predators would also have to pass four teams to reach the postseason.

They will also have to do it without David Legwand, who was the team's first draft pick in 1998 and holds nearly every career record in franchise history. The Predators traded him to the Detroit Red Wings just before the NHL Trade Deadline Wednesday for prospect Calle Jarnkrok, veteran Patrick Eaves and a conditional third-round pick.

"David has been a part of some of the greatest moments in our franchise’s history since he made his NHL debut in April of 1999," general manager David Poile said. "He has scored big goals, played an integral part in all of our playoff series and helped lead the franchise through our greatest triumphs and trials. While today we say goodbye to one of this club’s most unforgettable players, we wish him the best in his career going forward and all of his future endeavors."

Who's hot: Fresh off playing a larger role than expected for Sweden at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Blues center Patrik Berglund has three goals in the past two games. The Predators have scored six goals in the past four games, but forward Patric Hornqvist has been in on half of them (two goals, one assist).

Injury report: Forward Vladimir Sobotka (knee) was on the ice Wednesday, but he has not played since Jan. 31. Coach Ken Hitchcock said Tuesday defenseman Jordan Leopold (ankle) is probably 10-14 days away from being 100 percent.

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