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Blues try to bounce back vs. Predators

by Mike Battaglino

PREDATORS (25-23-8) at BLUES (36-12-5)


Last 10: Nashville 6-3-1; St. Louis 5-5-0

Season series: The St. Louis Blues defeated the Nashville Predators twice in October by a combined score of 10-3.

Big story: Captain Shea Weber showed he was just fine, thank you, by scoring twice, including the overtime winner against the New Jersey Devils on Friday after entering the day a question mark because of an upper-body injury.

"I've been saying he's been having the best year of his career, and he's been a two-time Norris [Trophy] finalist," coach Barry Trotz told Fox Sports Tennessee. "… He leads our team, we take on his personality. He was questionable for today, came in with two big goals, that's why he's one of the best in the world at his position. Glad he's on our side."

Team Scope:

Predators: Goalie Carter Hutton played Friday, his fifth game out of six. He is 5-1-0 since Nashville traded for goalie Devan Dubnyk, who has not played since Jan. 24.

"There's some different things we've been working on, really dropping into pucks and trying to control myself, give myself the best ability to make secondary saves," Hutton told NHL Network. "Not getting too loose and kind of keeping everything tight. ... It's kind of been trial by fire here, and I think my confidence and just the way that we've been playing is really helping my game."

Hutton has not played on back-to-back days in 27 appearances this season.

"I know the guys love to get the two points for [Carter]," Trotz said. "He's a guy, very similar to (former Predators goalie) Chris Mason, keeps battling away, and he's done a real good job for us."

Blues: With a 3-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, St. Louis is 12-5-0 in its past 17 games. In the five losses, the Blues have scored one goal four times and two in the other game.

"We had a few chances where we hit posts or didn't finish the puck," captain David Backes told Fox Sports Midwest. "It's not our ideal effort for sure, but as a group we need to look at each other in the face and see what we have to do to get back and have our game tomorrow night against a good Nashville team."

The Blues have scored one goal in four of their past 10 games, after doing so once in their first 43. An empty-net goal by Carolina kept St. Louis' record at 30-1-0 when it allows two or fewer goals.

"We all have to come back tomorrow re-energized and refocused to play game 54 and get back on track," Backes said.

Goalie Jaroslav Halak made his fifth straight start Friday; Brian Elliott could make his first since being pulled after allowing three goals on nine shots to the Devils in a 7-1 loss Jan. 21.

Who's hot: Weber has 25 points in his past 25 games. Predators defenseman Roman Josi has 10 points in his nine eight games. Forward David Legwand has a three-game point streak. … Blues forward Alexander Steen has seven points in his past six games. Backes has five points in his past five. Forward T.J. Oshie was minus-1 Friday, his first game in 16 without a plus or even rating. Halak was 6-2-0 with a 1.37 goals-against average and .952 save percentage in January.

Injury report: Predators forwards Matt Cullen (upper body) and Viktor Stalberg (upper body) are out. Goalie Pekka Rinne (hip) is on injured reserve. … Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka (lower body) will not play. He needed assistance to the dressing room after the game Friday following a collision into the end boards late in the third period.

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