St. Louis' Brad Boyes is off to the best start of his brief NHL career. His play against the Nashville Predators is a big reason why.
Coming off another strong game against the Predators, Boyes looks to help the Blues post their fourth straight victory and second in a row over their Central Division rivals when the teams meet at Scottrade Center on Monday night.
Boyes scored in regulation and had the lone goal in the shootout Saturday as the Blues (10-7-0) won 3-2 at Nashville, taking the opener of a home-and-home series.
The 25-year-old winger has scored three of his team-leading 11 goals against Nashville for St. Louis, which is 2-0-0 versus the Predators after going 1-4-3 against them last season. It's the highest total against any team this season for Boyes, who didn't record a point in two previous contests against Nashville before 2007-08.
Boyes, starting his third full season, will also be looking for a goal in his third straight game.
Despite the recent winning streak, St. Louis remains last in the division, two points behind Nashville.
"We've just got to keep winning," said Boyes, who had a career-high 26 goals with Boston in 2005-06 and 17 with the Bruins and Blues last season. "You look at the standings, you know we're winning. You don't move up ... because it's so tight and such a tough division."
Hannu Toivonen made a season-high 35 saves for his second victory Saturday, but Manny Legace could be back in goal Monday as he looks for his third straight win overall and against the Predators. Legace is 10-5-5 with one tie and a 2.00 goals-against average versus Nashville.
St. Louis is looking for its second four-game winning streak this season after taking four in a row from Oct. 6-17.
Nashville (10-7-2) had its three-game winning snapped despite outshooting St. Louis 37-20 on Saturday. The Predators, though, are 6-0-2 since losing 5-1 at Calgary on Oct. 30 for their last loss in regulation.
"It was a really good game, we could have been sitting here saying we won, but sometimes you play a good game and don't get rewarded," Nashville coach Barry Trotz told the team's official Web site. "We just have to go back to St. Louis and try to get those points back."
The Predators haven't lost consecutive games since dropping six in a row from Oct. 10-23.
Alexander Radulov and Jordin Tootoo scored for the Preds, who will play the seventh game of an eight-game stretch against division opponents Monday night.
Tootoo looks to continue his solid play against the Blues. The forward has two of his five goals this season against St. Louis and four of his 16 career goals versus the Blues.
David Legwand recorded his third assist in his last two contests Saturday, and needs one point for 302 in his career to pass Kimmo Timonen as the Predators' all-time leader.
"It is nice to put the record behind me and move forward - it was a big thing for me," said Legwand, who leads Nashville with 18 points.