Series (Game 3 of 6)

Nashville leads 5-1

Game 1: Thursday, November 12th
Game 2: Friday, November 27th
Game 3: Tuesday, December 29th
Game 4: Sunday, March 21st
Game 5: Thursday, April 1st
Game 6: Saturday, April 10th

Predators 4

(23-14-3, 49 pts)

Blues 3

(17-17-5, 39 pts)

8:00 PM ET, December 29, 2009

Scottrade Center, Saint Louis, Missouri

1 2 3 T
NSH 2 1 14
STL 1 0 23

S. Weber (Predators - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

J. Dumont (Predators - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

A. Steen (Blues - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Predators-Blues Preview


Two straight tough losses dampened the Nashville Predators' hopes of taking the Central Division lead. A matchup at St. Louis may help them get back on track.

The Predators look to snap a three-game losing streak Tuesday night against a Blues team that owns the NHL's worst record at home.

Nashville's skid comes following a surprising 19-5-2 stretch that pulled it close to first-place Chicago. The Predators' last two defeats have been particularly discouraging, losing to the Blackhawks on consecutive nights to fall eight points behind.

After dropping a 4-1 decision at home on Saturday, Nashville fell 5-4 the next day on a late goal by Patrick Kane.

The Predators (22-14-3) now hope to become the latest team to take advantage of a matchup at the Scottrade Center. The Blues (17-16-5) are a league-worst 6-12-2 at home, losing six of their last seven.

Nashville won 3-1 at St. Louis on Nov. 12, the teams' first meeting of the season. The Blues rebounded with a 3-1 road victory Nov. 27.

Poor power-play production has been a problem for the Predators in road games with the Blues. Nashville is 1 for 27 with the man advantage in its last nine games at St. Louis, going 4-5-0.

Martin Erat, Nashville's hottest scorer in recent weeks, has failed to notch a point in 11 straight games versus the Blues. In 41 career matchups versus them, the right wing has just three goals and 13 assists.

Erat has a team-high 14 goals this season, including nine in his last 12 games. The best chance to end his slump against St. Louis could come late in this contest.

The Blues have given up a total of six goals on 13 shots in the third period of their last two games, including three scores in a 5-3 loss to Buffalo on Sunday night. That dropped St. Louis to 12-2-3 when leading after two periods.

Paul Kariya's status for this game is uncertain as he didn't return after suffering an upper-body injury in the first period.

The veteran left wing had 55 goals in two seasons with Nashville before signing with St. Louis as a free agent prior to the 2007-08 season. He leads the club with 101 shots, but has eight goals and 11 assists in 38 games this season.

Brad Boyes has also been struggling for much of this season. After leading St. Louis with 33 goals and 39 assists in 2008-09, the right wing is again at the top of the scoring chart with nine goals and 17 assists so far.

He's been held without a point in two of his last three games, and has scored once in his last nine contests. However, Boyes had a goal in each of the Blues' two contests with Nashville this season.

St. Louis also will be looking for more from its power-play unit. The Blues are 0 for 11 over the last three games after scoring a season-high four with the man advantage in a 7-2 win over Edmonton on Dec. 21.