Preview: Blues at Predators
The St. Louis Blues are mired in a four-game losing streak (0-2-2), matching a run in October that slowed the reigning Stanley Cup champions out of the blocks. The Blues bid to avoid matching another low point on Sunday as they attempt to avert their second home-and-home sweep of the season at the hands of the host Nashville Predators.
"You go through stretches like this -- every team does. You got to climb through it, you got to be mentally tough. You have to go through adversity at times," St. Louis coach Craig Berube said after Saturday's 4-3 loss to Nashville. The Blues have yielded at least three goals in each of their last 11 contests (2-6-3), with Mikael Granlund's power-play tally in the third period serving as his third game-winner in six games for the Predators. Kyle Turris collected a goal and two assists on Saturday for Nashville, which continued its recent mastery of St. Louis after sweeping the club in a two-game set on Nov. 23-25. "It was a really big win for us," the 30-year-old Turris said. "We're battling in the standings and trying to make up ground, so to start the back-to-back off with (a win), this was really important. It's going to be a really important game (Sunday) night, too."
TIME: 6 p.m. ET. TV: NBC Sports Network
ABOUT THE BLUES (32-16-10): While St. Louis has sputtered of late, Zach Sanford has been clicking on all cylinders after following up his career-high four-goal effort in Thursday's 6-5 overtime loss versus Vegas with another tally against the Predators. "I think all our guys are pretty fired up, we've been pretty (angry), lately we haven't been playing our game," said the 25-year-old Sanford, who has a robust 14 points (nine goals, five assists) in his last 10 games. Fellow forward Jaden Schwartz scored against Nashville for the second time this season, with Saturday's goal serving as just his second in the last 11 contests.
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (28-22-7): Pekka Rinne, who is expected to get the nod on Sunday, sports a 24-17-4 record with four shutouts, a 2.02 goals-against average and .930 save percentage versus St. Louis. The former Vezina Trophy recipient, however, has yet to face the Blues in 2019-20 and has seen his playing time reduced in favor of Juuse Saros, who owns a 6-2-0 record with two shutouts, a 2.14 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in his last eight starts. Viktor Arvidsson scored his first goal in nine games and Matt Duchene added his second in his last 14 contests on Saturday.
1. Nashville captain Roman Josi has set up six goals during his five-game assist streak.
2. The Blues own an 0-2-1 record against the Predators this season after posting a 4-1-1 mark in the previous six matchups.
3. Nashville begins a run of playing seven of its next eight games at home.
PREDICTION: Predators 3, Blues 2