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Game Day Blog: Preds vs. St. Louis Blues

Thursday, 04.1.2010 / 2:12 PM CT / Preview
By Tom Callahan  - Nashville Predators
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Game Day Blog: Preds vs. St. Louis Blues
Nashville Predators vs. St. Louis Blues
Bridgestone Arena, 7 pm
TV:
Fox Sports Tennessee (HD)  |  Radio: 104.5 The Zone, Predators Radio Network

 Morning Skate Photo Gallery
The Predators find themselves on the cusp of a playoff berth, but thanks to the pesky Calgary Flames won't be able to clinch it tonight. Honestly, it makes no difference to the team.

Echoing around the locker room prior to this morning's game was the sentiment that to a man - head coach to trainer and anyone in between - the team isn't in yet, and until they are they refuse to feel any sort of comfort in numbers that seem to tell an inevitable tale. Yes, one win and three points locks out the Flames. Yes, it would seem a tall order for Calgary to knock out the Predators (though not some of the other teams that are just below, especially Colorado). And yes, this team has finally gotten through its toughest stretch of the year, playing 17 games in March's 31 days.

However, tonight the Predators face a Blues team that has tried to salvage its season and is currently on a hot streak. St. Louis comes in with three in a row under its belt and looking to make it four. They're not out of the playoffs either, and you never know which team in front of you could falter. So St. Louis is looking to finish strong and keep the ball rolling here tonight.

Don't forget that the Predators had to rally and win in the final minutes of the third period against the Blues last time the two teams met. It wasn't looking all that rosy for the good guys until late in the game when Dustin Boyd stepped up with his second of the night to earn the win. So don't expect either team to take its opponent lightly tonight.

It should be a very intense game here tonight, one that hockey fans can appreciate no matter which side you're rooting for.

Notes:
  • Jason Arnott did skate today on his own, but said he's still day-to-day and there's no concrete timetable for his return.
  • Alex Steen had two goals and an assist in the Blues' 4-2 win over Chicago, moving him into first on the team with 23 goals.
  • Paul Kariya (lower body) is day-to-day after leaving the Chicago game in the first period.
Keys to the Game
  • Nashville has to bring its compete level for 60 minutes. It's no secret Nashville has been up and down for periods here and there. It's time to cobble that all together heading into the playoffs.
  • Better traffic/net presence. We harp on this a lot. Well, if Jonathan Bernier had seen fewer pucks, maybe it's a different game. Any NHL goalie will stop what he sees 98% of the time. Cut down his vision to 50/50 and see how it goes.
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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
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12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61