The Nashville Predators look to continue one of the NHL's best runs against a team they dominated last season.
The Predators go for their ninth straight victory over the St. Louis Blues as the Central Division rivals meet Thursday at Scottrade Center.
After starting the season 0-3-0, Nashville has gone 16-2-2 and is coming off a 3-2 victory Wednesday at Philadelphia. The Predators (16-5-2) had outscored Vancouver and Detroit 12-2 in their previous two victories, but needed a strong third-period effort to get the job done in their most recent win.
The Flyers tied the game with less than seven minutes to go, but 1:22 later, they turned it over in the Nashville zone. Paul Kariya capitalized on the giveaway and fed Martin Erat for the game-winner to kick off Nashville's stretch of six of seven games on the road.
"It was just a bad turnover and Paul just gave me the puck in the circles and I shot it and it went in," Erat said. "We've actually been playing really good in the road. In this game we made too many turnovers."
Nashville is 10-4-0 away from home and tied with San Jose for the most road wins in the Western Conference. The Predators have won three in a row overall and are going for their third streak of four or more wins this season. They have a good shot against the Blues (7-13-3), whom they beat in all eight meetings last season.
Nashville outscored St. Louis 25-10 in 2005-06 and concluded the season series with back-to-back shutouts. Chris Mason was in goal for both of those shutouts and has played well recently filling in for the injured Tomas Vokoun (thumb).
He made 24 saves Wednesday, improving to 5-1-1 with a 2.41 goals-against average this season. Mason has been flawless against the Blues, going 4-0 in six career games with a 1.48 GAA, his most wins versus any opponent.
St. Louis was blanked for the third time Tuesday in a 2-0 loss to San Jose. The Blues have scored just one goal in the last two games and have failed to score on the power play in four straight contests.
They are 1-for-33 with the man advantage over the last nine games while allowing opponents to convert on 24.5 percent (12 of 49) of their opportunities during that span.
"Yeah, we got some shots on net, but we've got to find a way to score goals," Blues left wing Keith Tkachuk said. "The power play, it's a big reason. It's losing us games."
Tkachuk leads the Blues with 18 points, but hasn't recorded one in four games - his longest drought of the season. He will try to get back on track versus the Predators, against whom he has 11 goals and 17 assists in 25 games.
Manny Legace made 25 saves Tuesday, but dropped to 5-7-1 with a 3.24 GAA. He has played well versus the Predators, going 8-3-2 with a tie and a 1.94 GAA in 15 career starts. Legace will try to slow Kariya, who recorded three goals and seven assists against the Blues last season.
St. Louis is trying to avoid its fifth three-game losing streak of the season. The Blues are concluding a three-game homestand where they have just two wins in their last 10 games.
St. Louis defenseman Jay McKee is expected to be back on the ice Thursday after being sidelined since Oct. 20 with a broken hand.