When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
THE STORY: The Nashville Predators enter their meeting with the league-leading St. Louis Blues on Tuesday needing one point to clinch a playoff spot. Nashville, which is 4-0-1 against Central Division rival St. Louis this season, can move past Detroit for fourth in the Western Conference with a victory. The Blues are hoping to expand their lead in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy. St. Louis is two points ahead of Vancouver and the New York Rangers for first overall.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS Tennessee (Predators), FS Midwest (Blues)
Nashville Predators (44-24-8): Alexander Radulov has not disappointed since returning to the club last week following a four-year stint in Russia’s KHL. Radulov had notched a point in each of his three contests, including the team’s only goal in his first game back – a loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday. Coach Barry Trotz is impressed with Radulov’s effort. “He really competes with pucks in the corners,” Trotz said. “He really battles and has second effort on plays. He makes stuff happen, not because he has great skill, but because the second-effort stuff is really good, and that’s why he can do some of those things.”
St. Louis Blues (47-20-9): Brian Elliott’s shutout against Phoenix on Sunday was St. Louis’ 14th of the season, a franchise record. The previous mark of 13 was set in 1968-69 by the tandem of Glenn Hall (eight) and Jacques Plante (five). Elliott’s league-high eight shutouts ties him with Hall for the Blues’ record for most in a season. Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk gives most of the credit for the team’s success to the goalies. “It doesn’t happen without our goalies,” he said. “Brian and Jaro have probably been the two biggest keys to how successful we’ve been.” Elliott has won only two of his last seven starts but has allowed only 10 goals in that span.
1. Nashville has won 13 of its last 16 divisional games.
2. The Blues are an incredible 21-1-3 over their last 25 home contests.
3. St. Louis has won three straight at Scottrade Center, allowing one goal in each triumph.
PREDICTION: Blues 3, Predators 1. CLICK HERE for 500 Handicappers Package FOR 5$.