Time to bury the Preds.
BLUES (21-14-2) at PREDATORS (15-17-8)
TV: FS-MW, FS-S
Last 10: St. Louis 6-4-0; Nashville 4-4-2
Season series: Fourth and final meeting of the regular season between these Central Division rivals. The Blues took the first two, but the Predators routed them 6-1 in St. Louis on Feb. 5, the most recent matchup.
Big story: The Blues' goaltending seems to have stabilized with the re-emergence of veteran Brian Elliott and the strong play of rookie Jake Allen. They're not a lock for the Stanley Cup Playoffs just yet, but it's the Predators who are in the truly precarious position -- five points out of eighth, with five teams to climb over to get there and only eight regular-season games left.
Blues: An injury to Jaroslav Halak led St. Louis to bring Elliott back from its American Hockey League affiliate in Peoria, where he'd been sent to get some playing time and hopefully work out the kinks that led to him posting a bloated 3.57 goals-against average and paltry .849 save percentage in his first nine appearances of the season. It seems to have paid off, as Elliott hasn't lost since returning. He stopped all 28 shots he faced in Detroit on Sunday afternoon and made Chris Porter's second-period goal stand up as the Blues edged the Red Wings, 1-0.
"We've played a good past couple of games and we didn't see any movement in the standings because other teams were doing their jobs, too," Elliott said. "Obviously getting a win against these guys bumps us up and we have to keep building on that. We don't have much time left."
Predators: On March 26, Nashville was tied for eighth in the Western Conference after edging Edmonton the previous night for its third consecutive victory. Since then, the Predators have lost six of seven to plummet down to 13th place. They're also tied for the most games played of any NHL team, leaving little margin for error the remainder of the way. This is the start of a four-game homestand, and coming off a weekend sweep at the hands of the Blackhawks, the Predators may have to run the table on it to remain in the race.
"We've just got to play hard and see what happens," coach Barry Trotz said. "Chances are very remote, but you've got to play hard. You're not going to do anybody any favors if you don't. You just embarrass yourself."
Who's hot: Elliott has stopped 80 of 84 shots (.952 save percentage) since returning to the Blues. … David Legwand has four goals and four assists in the past seven games for the Predators.
Injury report: St. Louis forward Andy McDonald missed Sunday's game with flu-like symptoms. Forward Scott Nichol (soreness) is also day-to-day. Halak (lower body) is likely out for several weeks. Forward T.J. Oshie (lower body) is on injured reserve. … Nashville was without forwards Paul Gaustad (upper body), Gabriel Bourque (upper body) and Mike Fisher (hand) on Sunday. Forward Brandon Yip (lower body) is also day-to-day. Forward Colin Wilson (upper body) is on injured reserve.
Here are the channel listings for the game. Apparently it's on the main FSMW channel for those in the STL market. Outside of that, it differs.http://blues.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=664731
The April 9 game between the Blues and Predators will air on FOX Sports Midwest in St. Louis and on FOX Sports Midwest Plus and alternate channels outside the St. Louis market.
The game will be available on FOX Sports Midwest on DirectTV, Dish and AT&T U-verse everywhere.
Outside the St. Louis market, the game will air on FOX Sports Midwest Plus or alternate channels in some areas.
On FOX Sports Midwest (main channel) on DirecTV, Dish and AT&T U-verse
On FOX Sports Midwest (main channel) in the St. Louis market
On FOX Sports Plus in southeastern Missouri and central Illinois
Cass-Virginia, Illinois 197 or 8
Charter-Cape Girardeau 10, 94, 223 or 224
New Wave-21 or check local listings; channel varies
Poplar Bluff Cable 2
On FOX Sports Plus in Central Indiana
Auburn Essential Services-81 (HD 1081)
Cinergy Metronet 3
Comcast-Shelbyville 81 or 82
New Wave-Greencastle/Vincennes 194
Time Warner-Evansville 2, 505 or 12.10
Time Warner-Newburgh 23
Time Warner-Terre Haute 13
On FOX Sports Plus in Kansas City
Comcast-Independence and Olathe 261 or 925
Suddenlink-St. Joseph 64
Time Warner 5, 310 or 313
On an alternate channel in mid-Missouri and Iowa
FOX Sports Midwest Plus is a channel used by FOX Sports Midwest to simultaneously show multiple events on two channels. FOX Sports Midwest Plus is available to all video providers that carry FOX Sports Midwest. Some providers carry FOX Sports Midwest Plus as a 24-hour full-time channel. Others choose to offer selected FOX Sports Midwest Plus programming and designate a channel to show the events.
Note: Some cable providers outside the St. Louis area may choose not to carry Tuesday’s Blues game.
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