The Nashville Predators (16-6-2) ended their four game winning streak with a 2-1 loss in Raleigh against the Hurricanes on Tuesday night. Cam Ward was the nemesis for the Preds as they were unable to break through until 15:14 of the 3rd period when Mike Ribeiro scored his 7th of the year. The Preds look to rebound as they take on St. Louis Blues at Bridgestone Arena tonight.
The St. Louis Blues (16-7-2) were taken to the woodshed by the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Wednesday night. The only goal by the Blues was by Ian Cole (2) at 12:38 of the 2nd period. St. Louis gave up three goals in the 3rd period, two of which were by Patrick Kane.
The leader, offensively, for the Blues is Vladimir Tarasenko with 26 points. Tarasenko also leads the team in goals with 14, and is among the best (4th) on the team in assists with 12.
Keys to watch
Central Division Showdown
The next two games for the Predators are with Central Division rivals the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks. Currently, the Preds and Blues are tied with the Central Division lead at 34 points. One note to keep in mind is that the Blues have played one more game than the Preds. The Blackhawks are one point out of 1st place with 33 points (25 games). This week will be a testament to where the Preds are among the elite of the NHL. Nashville needs a solid week to remain on top of the Central Division.
With St. Louis goalie Brian Elliot being out with a knee injury, the Blues needed to add a veteran presence to the goalie position. Enter: Martin Brodeur. Brodeur recently signed a deal worth $700,000 with incentives based upon performance. The longtime New Jersey Devils goal-minder looks to contribute as he will be in goal against Nashville tonight. With his experience and track record, 1st in games, wins, and shutouts, look for Brodeur to be steady in goal for the Blues.
No team has been better than the Nashville Predators at home this season. With a record of 10-1-1, Nashville has been dominate within the friendly confines of Bridgestone Arena. The Preds will need to keep up the momentum at home for this big matchup tonight. The Preds have not faced the Blues in Nashville this season, and the test tonight will be an accurate representation for the season series (1-1 so far with 5 games total).
Bridgestone Arena will be rocking tonight as this rivalry heats up one more time! As usual, fans can catch the game on FS-TN or listen live to 102.5 The Game. Tickets are still available as of 10:00 am, so get out to Bridgestone! Puck drops at 7:oo pm.