With points in their last six road games, the Nashville Predators have faired much better away from Bridgestone Arena than at it recently.
Last night, Nashville claimed a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks capping off a perfect three-game road trip for the club. The six points were a welcome change for the Predators after they had dropped the last four contests of a five-game home stand the week before.
Tonight, the Predators (29-28-10) will face one of the teams that defeated them during their recent home stand as the St. Louis Blues (45-14-7) are back in Nashville.
Holding the best record in the NHL, the Blues will be the second tough test for Nashville in two days. St. Louis and new goaltender Ryan Miller registered a 2-1 win over the Predators in their most recent meeting on March 6th.
Three things to watch for in tonight’s game:
- Rewarded for opportunities: In several of their home losses a week ago, the Predators held a huge shot advantage over their opponents early in the contests but still could not find the back of the net. One of the best defensive clubs in the game, the Blues will be happy to slow the pace of the game and hold onto any kind of lead they can get, so the Predators would greatly benefit from an early lead.
- Winning in any way: The Blues can claim a five-game season sweep with a win in Nashville tonight. St. Louis has recorded wins over Nashville in a variety of ways: a 6-1 beat down, shootout victory and a low-scoring, one-goal win, for example. The depth of the Blues offense and defense allows the team to have a chance at two points almost regardless of the style their opponent wants to play. There’s little doubt St. Louis prefers to grind out a win after claiming an early lead, however, so Nashville will want to try and force the Blues to play from behind if possible.
- Power play coming back: In the Predators most recent loss to the Blues, Nashville failed to connect on four power play chances. The club had struggled to find any kind of offense with the man advantage until very recently, but the Predators have now scored power-play goals in each of their last two games. With the score as close as it’s likely to be tonight, generating offense on special teams could be the difference in claiming victory.
The puck drops at 7:00 p.m. (CST) on Nashville’s second game in two days. Goaltender Carter Hutton is likely to get the start in net for Nashville. Miller has been confirmed as the man in the crease for the Blues.