St. Louis Blues vs. Nashville Predators: Game Preview


After defeating the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Monday night at Scottrade Center, the St. Louis Blues will finish the latter end of a back-to-back on the road on Tuesday against the Nashville Predators. It will be an important division matchup for the Blues, who can move back into a tie with the Preds for second place in the Central Division with a regulation victory on Tuesday.

The Predators will also be dealing with the fatigue caused by playing games on back-to-back nights in different cities. Nashville lost 5-4 in a shootout while facing the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night at the United Center. The Preds, who started the season as one of the league’s hottest teams, have endured a bit of a December slump, as they’ve gone 7-4-1 after going 16-5-2 over the season’s first two months.

Very little is known about the Blues’ lineup plans for Tuesday night. With only six defensemen currently on the active roster, we can figure out by default who will occupy those spots, but the forward corps and goaltender are up in the air.

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The Blues hinted that goaltender Brian Elliott could return on Tuesday, and they may have provided credence to those claims on Monday morning, when they prepared to free up a roster spot for Elliott by waiving forward Magnus Paajarvi. If Elliott ultimately does not end up starting, the team could go to either Martin Brodeur or Jake Allen. Brodeur would certainly be deserving of a start after shutting out the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night, but at 42 years old, it may be a struggle for him to play back-to-back nights. With that said, Brodeur was arguably the most durable goalie in NHL history during his heyday, so playing Tuesday would by no means be an impossible feat.

They could also aim to give Allen, who endured three of the four losses during the Blues’ recent streak, a confidence boost by starting him Tuesday. However, that probably wouldn’t be a smart idea as the Blues head into an important division matchup where the standings are on the line. If Elliott is back, it’s possible that Allen could end up as a healthy scratch on Tuesday, with Brodeur serving as the in-uniform backup.

At forward, the Blues will have to make a change after Chris Porter suffered an injury on Monday that will keep him out at least six weeks. It’s possible that Paajarvi, who was waived Monday, could find himself right back in the Blues’ lineup on Tuesday if he clears waivers during the afternoon. However, with that possibility existing, the Blues will probably just insert Joakim Lindstrom, who has been a healthy scratch for the past two games, back into the mix. If by some chance they end up losing Paajarvi on Tuesday, it’s possible that they could call in reinforcements from the minors to replace Porter on the roster.

Next: Blues Lose Forward Chris Porter with Leg Injury