Series (Game 1 of 6)

St. Louis leads 4-2

Game 1: Thursday, October 14th
Game 2: Thursday, October 28th
Game 3: Thursday, November 11th
Game 4: Wednesday, November 24th
Game 5: Sunday, December 26th
Game 6: Saturday, April 9th

Blues 3

(2-1-0, 4 pts)

Predators 4

(3-0-0, 6 pts)

8:00 PM ET, October 14, 2010

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

1 2 3 T
STL 1 1 13
NSH 3 1 04

S. Sullivan (Predators - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

C. O'Reilly (Predators - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

P. Hornqvist (Predators - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Blues-Predators Preview


Despite the absence of Pekka Rinne to injury, the Nashville Predators picked up their second win in as many games.

To open with three straight victories for the first time in five years, they may again have to turn to their rookie backup goaltender.

The Predators and St. Louis Blues will be looking to stay undefeated when they meet Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena.

Joel Ward scored a power-play goal with 26.7 seconds remaining as Nashville (2-0-0) beat defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago 3-2 on Wednesday. Former Blackhawk Steve Sullivan scored his second goal, Colin Wilson tied the game early in the third period and Anders Lindback recorded 23 saves in his first NHL start.

"I felt comfortable when I came out and felt more comfortable as the game went on," said Lindback, a 22-year-old Swede who is playing in his first season in North America. "The boys did a real good job in front of me."

Lindback played 17 minutes in the third period of a 4-1 win over Anaheim on Saturday after Rinne left with a lower-body injury. Rinne did not travel to Chicago, and it's uncertain if he'll be in goal when the Predators try to get off to their best start since opening 2005-06 with eight straight victories.

The Blues (2-0-0) certainly wouldn't mind Rinne sitting this one out. He was 5-1-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average when facing them last season, winning the last four meetings.

St. Louis is looking to start 3-0 for the first time since the 1993-94 season. The Blues also won their first two games last year in Sweden, but dropped three in a row upon returning to the United States.

They are coming off a 5-1 victory over the Ducks on Monday. David Backes and Andy McDonald scored six seconds apart in the first period to break a 42-year-old franchise record, and Jaroslav Halak faced little action in his second start with his new team, needing to make only 13 saves.

The Blues recorded 53 shots in the win -- their most since a franchise-record 54 in a win over Washington in 1992 -- as they continue to take advantage of man-advantage opportunities. They had nine power plays for the second straight game Monday, converting one chance.

"We're just looking to generate opportunities and take them," coach Davis Payne said. "The power play is a large reason the shot total is that high but we'll take that kind of pressure most nights."

After playing their first two games at home, the Blues head on the road for their next three, capped by another showdown against the Blackhawks on Monday. Despite missing the playoffs last season, St. Louis was tied for the fifth-best road record, recording 49 points.

St. Louis will be without forward Cam Janssen after he suffered a concussion in Saturday's season-opening 2-1 overtime win over Philadelphia that will keep him out at least two weeks. In 43 games last season, Jansen led the team with 190 penalty minutes.

The Blues lost their last two visits to Nashville after winning their first visit in 2009-10. Patric Hornqvist, who had a goal in the Predators' season opener, had three goals and three assists in the season series.