Blues vs. Predators
Back home for one game during a road-heavy portion of their schedule, the Predators look to extend their season-opening point streak to nine when they go for their sixth straight victory over the Blues on Thursday night.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com have made the Predators –125 money line favorites for Thursday's game against the Blues. Current MLB Public Betting Information shows that 65% of more than 638 bets for this game have been placed on the Predators -125.
Off to its best start since opening 8-0-1 in 2005-06, Nashville (5-0-3) has played seven consecutive one-goal games, going 4-0-3. The Predators have gained at least a point in their last 23 games decided by one goal.
The continued success in those situations this season has been due in large part to the play of Pekka Rinne and rookie Anders Lindback in net. Rinne, who made 30 saves and recorded his 15th career shutout in a 1-0 win at Dallas on Saturday, is 2-0-2 with a 1.58 goals-against average.
Lindback, 3-0-1 with a 2.55 GAA, made a season-best 42 saves in the Predators' last game - a 4-3 road victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday.
"Our goalies have been a real backbone for us," defenseman Cody Franson said.
Making his first start at Bridgestone Arena, Lindback turned away 32 shots in a 4-3 win over St. Louis (4-1-2) on Oct. 14. The Predators' five straight victories over the Blues each came by one goal, and Nashville has outscored its Central Division rival by just seven goals while going 13-3-2 in the last 18 matchups.
Nashville looks to continue its strong play against its division foe before opening a five-game trip Saturday that concludes Nov. 11 in St. Louis. The Predators are in the midst of playing 12 of 15 on the road.
The Blues, denied their first 3-0-0 start since 1993-94 with the Oct. 14 loss, are looking for their first road win following back-to-back victories over Chicago and Pittsburgh.
Defenseman Erik Johnson scored his first goal of the season and Jaroslav Halak, among the league leaders with a 1.81 GAA, made 31 saves for his 10th career shutout as the Blues defeated the Penguins 1-0 in overtime Saturday.
"We're not a team that's going to be all hyped up because we beat two of the better teams in the league,'' defenseman Barret Jackman told the Blues' official web site. "We have to take the approach with every team that we play that we're just as good or better. If the opposition wants to think of us as the underdog, that's good for us. We'll go through the whole year being the underdog and keep improving ourselves.''
The Blues would like to improve their power play, which has gone 2 for 13 over the last four games, but will face a Predators team that killed off all 14 short-handed chances in the last four contests.
Nashville will be without standout defenseman Ryan Suter (lower-body injury) and center Marcel Goc (shoulder), who scored 56 seconds into the game Oct. 14.
Predators forward Steve Sullivan has not scored since getting two goals in that victory. He has 21 goals and 49 points against St. Louis - both highs against any opponent.
The Blues are without defenseman Roman Polak, who will have surgery to repair a severed tendon in his right wrist and be sidelined indefinitely. Forward Cam Janssen, though, is expected to return after suffering a concussion in St. Louis' season-opening victory over Philadelphia.Nashville has won three in a row and 17 of 22 at home over St. Louis.