Predators Look For 15th Straight in St Louis Print
Written by TheSpread   
Friday, 16 February 2007 07:45
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NHL Hockey: Nashville Predators at St Louis Blues - Predators Favored

Team Page: Nashville :: St Louis

84% of Bets Placed on Nashville -175 | Matchup | Goalies
The Nashville Predators look to extend their winning streak over the St. Louis Blues to 15 games when the Central Division rivals meet on Friday night.

Nashville (39-16-3), which has the most points (81) in the Western Conference, has outscored St. Louis 47-24 in winning all 14 meetings since the start of the 2005-06 season. Seven of the victories - all in regulation - have come in St. Louis.

Oddsmakers have made Nashville -175 money line (NHL Odds)

favorites for todays game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 total goals (View NHL Sports Books).

The Blues haven't beaten the Predators since a 4-1 win in Nashville on April 3, 2004.

"We've had some success against the Blues," Predators winger Steve Sullivan said after a 6-3 win at St. Louis on Jan. 27 in the most recent matchup.

"I don't think it's the Blues. It's our style of play."

All five previous meetings this season were decided by one goal - two ended in shootouts and another went to overtime. The teams meet for the eighth and final time on April 5.

Paul Kariya is a big reason Nashville has been dominating this series since he joined the team at the start of last season, with six goals and 11 assists during the 14-game win streak. He has 53 points in 46 career games versus the Blues.

Kariya has eight points in this season's series while Sullivan has seven and Martin Erat has six.

Erat had a goal and an assist Wednesday and Shea Weber scored twice as the Predators beat San Jose 5-0 after losing four of their previous six games.

Tomas Vokoun made 22 saves to help Nashville rebound from Saturday's 4-1 loss to Los Angeles - the team with the fewest points in the West.

"The past few games, we didn't play the way we wanted to, and we slacked off a little bit," said Predators forward J.P. Dumont, who scored his 12th goal of the season Wednesday.

"Other teams caught us, and that game was good for not just for everybody, but just for ourselves to show how good we are. If we don't play a solid game, it's not going to be easy. It was proved tonight ... we wanted more, and we just kept playing."

The victory resonated with Vokoun, who has won three of his last four starts while posting a 1.50 goals-against average and two shutouts.

"We played from the first minute to the last minute, how we are supposed to play," Vokoun said.

Vokoun and backup Chris Mason have combined to give Nashville 10 shutouts this season, tying New Jersey for most in the league.

Vokoun is 18-7-1 with a 2.38 GAA and tied his single-season career high with his fourth shutout Wednesday, while Mason is 21-9-2 with a 2.35 GAA and a career-best five shutouts.

Vokoun has won his last five starts versus the Blues with a 1.20 GAA, and Mason has a 10-0 record with two shutouts and a 1.92 GAA in 12 career games against them.

St. Louis (23-26-9) is coming off a 4-2 win over Columbus on Wednesday, when rookie David Backes had his first two-goal game.

"The way my linemates were playing, setting me up, it was easy for me," said Backes, who has three goals in his last three games after a 20-game drought.

Bill Guerin has scored four times in the last two contests to give him a team-leading 26 goals and 45 points. The right wing had 13 goals and 40 points in 70 contests for Dallas last season.

by: Gary Roberts - - Email Us

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