After just one game with Central Division teams last night, things get back to normal this evening with another intra-Central game between St. Louis and Nashville.
Around The Central Division: January 22, 2013
Phoenix Coyotes 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 1
Goalie Steve Mason got his first start of the year for the Blue Jackets, and he gave up three goals to former Predator Steve Sullivan as the Coyotes cruised by Columbus. The story during the end of the lockout was that there was supposed to be some competition in goal this year at Columbus. Mason’s first start doesn’t do much to suggest that the Blue Jackets won’t be riding new acquisition Sergei Bobrovsky pretty hard the rest of the way. After opening the season with a shootout win against Nashville, Columbus has lost two in a row.
Phoenix got the win despite losing goalie Mike Smith during the game. Howlin’ Hockey has the recap.
Amazingly enough (given the way things have started), a win for Nashville and a regulation loss for tonight would move the Preds into a tie with Chicago for first place.
Points: Vladimir Tarasenko (STL), Patrick Kane (CHI), Kevin Shattenkirk (STL) – tied, 5
Goals: Marian Hossa (CHI) – 4
Assists: Kevin Shattenkirk (STL) – 5
PIM: Jordin Tootoo (DET) – 15
Wins: Corey Crawford (CHI) – 2
GAA: Chris Mason (NSH) – 1.00
SV%: Chris Mason (NSH) – .967
With their fourth defenseman going down to injury and Kyle Quincey becoming one of their leading blueliners in the interim, the Red Wings have to be glad they’re not playing today.
Nashville Predators at St. Louis Blues
7:00 p.m. CST
FOX Sports Tennessee
Three days ago the Blues came to Smashville and took down the Predators in a shootout to climb to 2-0 on the young season. After an opening against the Blue Jackets, Nashville coach Barry Trotz said that playing the Blues was “a man’s game.” Since that game the Preds have won against Minnesota; the Blues have lost to Chicago. But St. Louis has also added Wade Redden to their blue line. He’ll make his debut with his new team tonight against the Preds. The Blues, meanwhile, will see Nashville’s Gabriel Bourque for the first time this season.
Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars
7:30 p.m. CST
The undefeated Blackhawks travel to Big D for their first crack at the Stars. Chicago has been scoring goals almost at will so far this season, but their defense hasn’t been too impressive so far. Dallas played its first game against the Central in Detroit the other night and beat the Wings on the strength of two Michael Ryder goals. If Dallas can light a fire under Jaromir Jagr tonight, Chicago might actually meet their match on offense.