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Predators-Blues Preview

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The Scottrade Center is hardly a place for Andy Murray and the St. Louis Blues to hide from their struggles, especially with the Nashville Predators following them there.

In Murray's fourth game since taking over as coach, the hapless Blues look to snap a couple of 10-game losing streaks as they conclude a home-and-home series with the first-place Predators on Sunday.

Paul Kariya scored the only goal in a shootout, and Nashville (21-8-3) beat St. Louis 3-2 on Saturday.

The Blues (7-19-5) are now 0-8-2 against the Central Division-leading Predators since a 4-1 win on April 3, 2004. It was also the 10th straight loss overall for St. Louis, which hasn't won since a 3-2 shootout victory at Detroit on Nov. 24.

Murray, meanwhile, remains winless in three games since taking over Tuesday for the fired Mike Kitchen. Two of Murray's losses have been at home, where the Blues have dropped seven straight and are 4-10-3 overall.

"Before you win you sometimes have to play good for a few games and I thought we did that against Nashville," Murray said. "Everybody was involved. We ran four lines and got contributions from a lot of people. I'm disappointed that we didn't win, but I recognize the Predators are a good hockey team. Not that many teams have gotten points off of them this season."

The return of Manny Legace wasn't enough to help St. Louis end its skid. Legace, who played his first game in 11 days after being sidelined with a head injury, had 22 saves.

"I think we were looking for a little bit of an easy game," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "It wasn't one of our better performances, but I don't want to take anything away from the Blues. They clogged up the neutral zone and slowed things down. We had to show patience and grind it out."

Legace struggled in the Blues' first matchup with the Predators this season, making just 12 saves in a 5-4 loss on Nov. 30. He hasn't won in regulation since beating Colorado at home on Nov. 2.

Kariya, who also scored a power-play goal Saturday, beat Legace with a high shot for the game winner. Kariya has five goals and six assists in his last eight games against St. Louis.

Scott Nichol also scored for Nashville, tying the game at 2 with 17 seconds left in the second period. The Predators have outscored opponents 48-18 in the second period.

Steve Sullivan earned an assist on Nichol's goal to keep pace with Kariya for the team lead in points with 31. Martin Erat had an assist on Kariya's goal, and has seven in his last five games.

Nashville's Vernon Fiddler hurt his shoulder in the second period and did not return in the final period. His status for Sunday's game is uncertain.

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