Blues at Predators
The St. Louis Blues are off to a flying start, outshooting the Detroit Red Wings 36-14 on Saturday in a 6-0 home win to open the season. The Blues will see if that momentum stays with them on the road when they visit the Nashville Predators on Monday. St. Louis enjoyed a balanced offensive performance against Detroit, with six players finishing with at least two points - and only four points in total from its first line.
The Predators opened their season at home with a shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who were the worst team in the NHL in 2011-12. Nashville recorded first-period goals from Martin Erat and rookie defenseman Ryan Ellis and outshot the Blue Jackets 12-6 in the final 20 minutes of regulation but couldn’t put the game away. Defenseman Shea Weber led all Predators with six shots, five hits, and fought Jared Boll midway through the second period.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports Tennessee
ABOUT THE BLUES (1-0-0): Russian rookie Vladimir Tarasenko, who was a first-round pick in 2010, scored twice in his debut and looked right at home on the NHL’s smaller ice surface. Chris Stewart also tallied twice, while T.J. Oshie netted the fifth short-handed goal of his career. Jaroslav Halak made 14 saves against the Red Wings for his 23rd career shutout. Halak and Brian Elliott combined for 15 shutouts last season and shared the Jennings Trophy for the lowest team goals-against average.
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (0-0-1): Defenseman Roman Josi led all Nashville skaters with over 27 minutes of time on ice, a clear sign the Predators’ defense is in transition after losing Ryan Suter to free agency. Josi played 52 games as a rookie last season, earning 16 points and posting a plus-1. Sergei Kostitsyn, who had 28 points in 27 games with Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League, assisted on both goals Saturday. Ellis’ goal was the fourth of his career and third on the power play.
1. Veteran D Wade Redden, who was signed by the Blues after the New York Rangers bought out the remainder his contract, underwent a physical in St. Louis on Sunday before joining the team.
2. Nashville assigned D Victor Bartley to the American Hockey League on Sunday, signifying Jonathon Blum is the team’s seventh defenseman.
3. The Predators were 4-1-1 against St. Louis last season, but two of those wins came in a shootout. They are winless in their last two games against the Blues.
PREDICTION: Blues 3, Predators 0