The Predators, who have won both meetings against the Blues this season, are also dealing with the concussion issue with top d-man Shea Weber
, who will miss his third straight game FRiday night with a concussion suffered Dec. 23 at Dallas.
Weber who is among the NHL leaders in ice time per game at 26:20 and the Predators are making due with what they have, trying to patch together Weber's production.
"You can't replace those elite players," Predators coach Barry Trotz
said. "You just have to do it as a group. Sometimes, one of the best things that can happen from a team coming together is the fact that top guys are out. It's not that I want Shea out at all.
"Everybody's going to have to pitch in. You can't replace the quality 28, 29 minutes he plays a night."
Guys like Roman Josi
, Ryan Ellis
and even Jack Hillen
hope to fill some of gaps Weber, who has 29 points in 35 games, leaves.
"It's not a cliche ... you just don't go out there and replace a Shea Weber
," Hillen said. "Each one of us does something individually and we have to fill that void as a group.
"If I try to be Shea Weber
, I might look like an idiot. We just have to stay within ourselves."