NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 24th (All times Eastern)
Nashville Predators (1-0-2) at St. Louis Blues (2-1-0), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Blues aim to rebound from their first loss of the season on Thursday night as they take on the Nashville Predators for the second time in four days.
The defending Central Division champs kicked off the season with a win over the visiting Detroit Red Wings before logging a shootout victory at Nashville on Monday. However, the Blues got their scoring too late on Tuesday night in Chicago, falling to the Blackhawks 3-2.
Down 3-0, St. Louis did not net its first goal until Andy McDonald's tally 4:40 into the third frame. A power-play goal from T.J. Oshie with 5:07 to play made it a one-goal game, but Chicago held on.
"That wasn't the team we're capable of being. It took us a while to get going," McDonald said. "I just think we didn't manage the puck well and didn't make the plays that we're normally capable of making."
Brian Elliott yielded a goal in each period, ending with 24 saves. He got the start after relieving Jaroslav Halak in Monday's 4-3 shootout win at Nashville.
Elliott stopped all 13 shots he faced through overtime and both skaters in the shootout. Oshie and Alexander Steen both scored in the breakaway frame to seal the win, St. Louis' third straight over Nashville.
The Blues have points in 10 of their last 12 versus the Predators, going 7-2-3, and are expected to start Halak in this game. The netminder has a career 1.86 goals against average versus the Preds.
Rookie Vladimir Tarasenko scored a goal and had two assists in the win over Nashville, giving him five points through his first two NHL games. However, the Blues forward was held without a point against the Blackhawks.
Pekka Rinne made 36 saves against the Blues in his second start in as many games for Nashville. He also manned the net in the club's season-opening shootout defeat to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
After a pair of shootout setbacks at home, the Predators played in Minnesota on Tuesday and notched a 3-1 win over the Wild. Martin Erat had the game- winner, scoring after he intercepted a clearing attempt in the third period during a 4-on-4 situation.
Nick Spaling and David Legwand also tallied for the Predators, who began a franchise record-tying seven-game road trip.
"We had a little bit of a slow start, but as the game went on we started to get better and better," said Spaling. "We just have to work on putting a full game together."
Rinne got the night off against the Blue Jackets, with Chris Mason making 29 saves. He signed a one-year deal this offseason to serve as Rinne's backup and made his first start since April 5 with the Winnipeg Jets.
Nashville has won seven of its last 10 in St. Louis.
Wade Redden could make his Blues debut after being activated to the roster on Wednesday. To make room for the defenseman, who had his contract bought out earlier this season by the New York Ranges, St. Louis assigned blueliner Ian Cole to the AHL.
01/24 10:44:21 ET