Monday night will feature a battle at the top of the Central Division. The Nashville Predators will head to the Enterprise Center to take on the St. Louis Blues. This will be the second meeting between the two this season, as the Predators won the first one 4-3 in Nashville. Currently, the Predators and Blues sit in 2nd and 3rd place in the division with the winner taking 2nd place.
Roman Josi leads the Predators in points with 39 and is 15th in the league in assists with 26. He was held scoreless in the previous meeting, but right winger Matt Duchene was not, as he had a 2 goal, 1 assist game. Jordan Kyrou has been the man for the Blues with 14 goals and 25 assists for his 39 points. He was also active in the last game, scoring 2 goals in the November loss.
It’s not about how you start, but how you finish
The Predators got off to a 5-0 start in 2022, but have since lost back-to-back games to Buffalo and Boston. While the start was good, the Predators will want to shake off those losses and get back on the winning track in the second half of the month. They will be without Filip Forsberg, who leads the team in goals with 18, as he remains quarantined.
Nashville lost its last match 4-3 at Boston. After tying the game at 2 in the third period, Brad Marchand gave the Bruins the lead 4 minutes in. Roman Josi then scored his 13th goal of the season to tie the game again and take it to overtime. With just 1 minute, 41 seconds left in overtime, Taylor Hall scored his eighth goal of the year to give the Bruins the win. Juuse Saros stopped 40 shots, but it wasn’t enough in the loss.
Keep them down
This Blues team has won 3 of their last 5 games and in those 2 losses they have allowed an average of 5.5 goals. In the 3 wins, their opponents average goals was 1 goal per game. They will be without Pavel Buchnevich, who is in quarantine. Buchnevich is the team leader in goals with 14 and second in points with 35.
St. Louis lost its last game against Toronto 6-5 on the road. After trailing 3-1 in the first period, the Blues tied it 4-4 after the second and took a 5-4 lead early in the third period. Toronto’s Auston Matthews tied it with a power play goal midway through the period and then Ilya Mikheyev scored the goal that would become the game-winner with less than 4 minutes to play. The Blues will look to return to their strongest defensive form to get the win at home against Nashville. Jordan Binnington is slated to be in net for the Blues, but they could be better off with Villie Husso, who has allowed just 3 goals on 59 shots in his last 2 starts.