Predators looking to alleviate the Blues | Tonight in Nashville
by Brad Mullins Scores & Statson
There are many great games tonight on the NHL docket, so calling this one the game of the night is possibly a slight overstatement, however, it will probably end up being the game of the night. Both teams come in with near identical records. The Blues, 34-21-3 and the Predators, 33-12-9. The opening line on this game was NSH ML -150. This sounds about right considering that the game is at home for Nashville. However, is it a reality?
The key for Nashville tonight will be defense. Rinne is coming off a stellar effort on Saturday night with 47 saves which included 10 in overtime. The predators are leading the division with 75 points, ahead of Winnipeg and St. Louis in third place. The Predators are coming off a 2-0-2 East Coast road trip. The final game of the roadie looked to be a for sure loss but Rinne came up big with a magnificent defensive effort.
"He gave us an opportunity to leave the building with the points," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "We need to play a lot better in front of him ... he was outstanding. He was incredible tonight."
Rinne plays old school hockey and he gets motivated for great teams and solid competition. Tonight will be a defensive battle from Nashville. Rinne has given up one goal to St. Louis in the last year.
"He was there all night long, making these post-to-post cross-ice saves," Predators center Ryan Johansen said of Rinne after the win in Montreal. "He was phenomenal. Hats off to him tonight."
The Predators are two points clear of the Jets and four ahead of the Blues, they also have played two fewer games than Winnipeg and four less than St. Louis (34-21-3). They also have a game in hand on Vegas, which is a point ahead of them for the conference's best record. That makes this game even more critical for the Blues, who come into town off a frustrating 4-1 loss Sunday to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Blues lost the call in the Penguins game just as they were poised to take a 2-1 lead early on in the third period, however, it was overturned due to high-sticking. The Penguins took advantage of the moment and immediately scored and never trailed again in the game.
"It wasn't our worst game we played," Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said. "I thought we battled hard. It's 1-1 until obviously the third and a couple of mistakes. You've got to find a way to win a hockey game. But if you look at the overall effort, it was there."
St. Louis manages to consistently get a lot of shots on goal. Nashville will have their hands full on defense. Nashville must attack early in this one and leave themselves some space.
If you like great hockey, this will be a great hockey game. The playoff race is in full swing and what happens from game to game is vital. It will be an exciting affair, don’t miss it.