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Blues' Pietrangelo, Predators' Weber could play

Nashville captain will be game-time decision

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

BLUES (35-19-9) at PREDATORS (30-21-11)

TV: 3 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-TN, NHL.TV

Season series: The St. Louis Blues have won four games against the Nashville Predators this season, most recently a 1-0 victory in Nashville on Feb. Jake Allen made a career-high 45 saves in the 4-0 victory Nov. 7. St. Louis won 2-1 on Dec. 17 and 4-3 in overtime Dec. 19 on Alexander Steen's game winner. Steen has two goals and two assists. Shea Weber and Roman Josi each have a goal and assist for Nashville.

Blues team scope: Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo could play, which would be exactly three weeks to the day since sustaining a right knee injury. Pietrangelo, who has missed eight games, practiced the past three days. "He looks fine," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "It's now kind of the player's call when he thinks he's ready. We'll communicate with him on the flight and see when, if he thinks he's ready for one of the games this weekend or both or whatever. We'll know that first thing in the morning for sure, but I think we'll get a better indication by [Friday night]." Jori Lehtera is questionable after he left the first period of a 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday after being hit in the face with an inadvertent puck near center ice. Lehtera didn't practice Friday, and Hitchcock said he was sore. Left wing Jaden Schwartz and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo didn't practice. Hitchcock called both maintenance days. The Blues have won five in a row against the Predators dating to last season, outscoring Nashville 11-4 the past four games.

Predators team scope: Weber, who missed the past two games with a lower-body injury, will be a game-time decision. The Predators, who did not skate Friday after a 3-0-0 road trip, signed defenseman Anthony Bitetto to a two-year, $1.225 million contract. "I'm excited," Bitetto told The Tennessean. "It's one of those dream-come-true type moments. It's one of those things in your life you'll always remember. Being part (of) Nashville, they drafted me and you go through all the ranks and now you're finally here. It's something I've always wanted." The Predators have earned points in eight straight games (5-0-3) and return to Bridgestone Arena to begin a three-game homestand. Nashville is 2-3-2 at home this month.

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