St. Louis Blues vs. Nashville Predators: Game Preview


The St. Louis Blues begin their divisional series against the Nashville Predators on Saturday night, playing the first of five games in what has become a rather intriguing geographical rivalry. The Blues will be looking to keep their momentum going, as they ride a seven-game winning streak and a four-game Vladimir Tarasenko scoring streak into Saturday.

The 8-3-2 Predators are second to the Blues in the division thus far, having taken advantage of a fantastic start to the year by 20-year-old Filip Forsberg and steady contributions from veterans Mike Ribeiro and James Neal, both acquired this offseason, to create a strong offensive game. It’s safe to say that this Preds team is significantly different from last year’s, as their top four scorers–Ribeiro and Neal, plus Forsberg, who spent most of last year in the AHL, and Derek Roy, who spent last year with the Blues–are players who contributed little to nothing to the team’s efforts in 2013-14.

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With that said, the Blues had plenty of success against the Predators last season, winning all five games of the season series. Four of the five were won in regulation, with the other coming in a shootout victory on February 1. The Blues outscored Nashville 20-8 over the course of the season series.

Brian Elliott will get the nod in goal for the Blues tonight after rookie Jake Allen started the previous two games. The only lineup change that is expected to come on Saturday is the ascension of Chris Porter into the lineup, with Dmitrij Jaskin becoming a healthy scratch. The Blues will still be without forward T.J. Oshie, who will miss his sixth straight game but is apparently beginning the road to recovery from his concussion, as he skated briefly on Saturday morning.