The St. Louis Blues have used Jake Allen and some strong work on the power play to beat the Nashville Predators twice this season.
They figure to try to employ that formula once again Tuesday night as they seek their first four-game home win streak of the season.
Allen is 6-2-0 with a 1.62 goals-against average in his last eight starts and has yielded one goal in two against the Predators this season to improve to 3-0-0 as a starter against them.
St. Louis (22-12-4) features one of the league's best power plays at 20.9 percent and that unit has gone 3 for 5 in the season series. Vladimir Tarasenko, Colton Parayko and Alex Pietrangelo all tallied with the man advantage.
The Blues tested themselves against one of the league's elite teams in a home-and-home set against Dallas over the weekend. They won 3-2 in a shootout at home Saturday before falling 3-0 the next night.
“(Saturday) I think we got what we deserved, we played really well, it was good we were able to get two points,” defenseman Jay Bouwmeester said. “(Sunday) we knew it was going to be a struggle for both teams and they just came out for whatever reason and got off to a better start and we didn't really respond the way we needed to.”
Tarasenko had an eight-game streak in which he amassed 12 points snapped Sunday. He has seven points in a five-game run at home versus Nashville.
Allen made 22 saves to earn Saturday's win before Brian Elliott stopped 35 of 37 shots the next night when the Blues' No. 1 goalie rested.
“The part that disappoints everybody here,” coach Ken Hitchcock said, “is (Elliott) battled like crazy, he made great saves, he kept us right there and we couldn't get a goal for him.”
Nashville (18-12-6) completed a 3-1-0 homestand with Monday's 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers. Mike Ribeiro had one goal and seven assists in the four games, with three assists Monday.
“We're a team that responds pretty well against good teams so it's a matter of being focused every night,” Ribeiro said.
James Neal scored twice and Filip Forsberg added a power-play goal to give him six points in a five-game run. Nashville converted both power-play chances and went 4 for 13 on the homestand.
“When our power play is scoring, it's usually a difference,” center Mike Fisher said.
The Predators welcomed back Fisher from an 11-game absence due to a lower-body injury.
“Mike looked really good,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “It's nice to have him back in there. He really provides a steadiness to our lineup.”
Pekka Rinne made 26 saves. He has started both ends of a back-to-back once so Carter Hutton may get the nod Tuesday.
The Predators are beginning a three-game trip that include visits to Dallas and Carolina.
“We've got a tough three games coming up, two especially in our division that are huge,” Fisher said.”We've gotta get back at it tomorrow.”
- Alex Pietrangelo
- Brian Elliott
- Carter Hutton
- Colton Parayko
- Filip Forsberg
- Jake Allen
- James Neal
- Jay Bouwmeester
- Mike Fisher
- Mike Ribeiro
- Nashville Predators
- Pekka Rinne
- St. Louis Blues
- Vladimir Tarasenko