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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, October 26th (All times Eastern)

St. Louis Blues (5-1-2) at Nashville Predators (6-4-1), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The surging Nashville Predators will try to stay hot on Saturday when they welcome the St. Louis Blues for a Central Division clash at Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators have won three of their last four games and are 5-1-1 since a disappointing 1-3 start to the season.

Nashville is coming off Thursday's home win over the Winnipeg Jets, an overtime victory that came without No. 1 goaltender Pekka Rinne. Craig Smith scored with 17 seconds left in overtime and goaltender Carter Hutton held down the fort in the 3-2 victory at Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators learned earlier Thursday that starting goaltender Pekka Rinne would miss about four weeks to have arthroscopic surgery on an infected left hip. With one of the league's top netminders sidelined for the foreseeable future, Hutton showed what he can do to try and replace Rinne.

Hutton, making his third career start and second this season, registered 34 saves in his first start since Rinne's injury.

"I thought he was pretty square to the puck," Nashville head coach Barry Trotz said about Hutton. "They put a lot of rubber towards him and he handled it just fine."

The Predators won the game after a miscue from Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who looked to start a rush from the Winnipeg zone late in the extra session, but lost control of the puck. The Predators quickly capitalized on the turnover as David Legwand fed Smith for a one-timer from the left circle.

Shea Weber and Patric Hornqvist also scored for Nashville.

Nashville won't play at Bridgestone Arena for a while after Saturday's game. The Preds are set to begin a season-high road trip Thursday in Phoenix, the first of seven straight games on the road for the club before it returns to the Music City to face Chicago on Nov. 16.

The Blues beat Nashville once earlier this season, recording a 4-2 home win on Oct. 3. Rinne was pulled from that game after surrendering three goals on six shots, but Hutton stopped 21-of-22 shots the rest of the way.

St. Louis has won two straight and six of the past seven meetings against the Preds and Nashville has lost the past three encounters on its home ice.

The Blues, however, enter Saturday on a two-game slide, having lost their past two contests after regulation. St. Louis dropped a 4-3 shootout decision in Winnipeg on Oct. 18 and emerged from a lengthy break with a 3-2 overtime loss Friday night against the visiting Canucks.

Ryan Kesler scored his second goal with 14.7 seconds left in OT to lift Vancouver to last night's victory. Vancouver's Daniel Sedin drew a hooking penalty on Patrik Berglund with 34 seconds remaining in the extra session. Sedin then sent a fluttering puck from the slot towards Jaroslav Halak, but Kesler, who was planted on the doorstep, knocked down the shot and beat the Blues goaltender on the backhand from the crease.

Halak stopped 18 shots for the Blues, who fell to 1-1-2 over its last four games after starting the season with four straight wins. Alexander Steen had a goal and an assist in the loss.

"It's unacceptable," St. Louis captain David Backes said. "They're a team that played last night, which we knew they were going to be ready to go. They don't even get time to think about it and they're right into the game and we had a week off. We can't start slow, we can't dig holes like that and expect to be able to dig out."

Beginning with Saturday's test in Nashville, the Blues are playing four of their next five games on the road. St. Louis is 1-0-1 as the guest this season.

10/26 10:49:47 ET

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Schedule

Saturday, April 19Full Scoreboard
Chicago3Final(OT) | Box
St. Louis «4Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. St. Louis leads series, 2-0.
Columbus22nd Prd 5:18 | Box
Pittsburgh3@theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, FSN-OH, ROOT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Pittsburgh leads series, 1-0.
Minnesota 4/19 9:30 PM ET
Colorado @theRink | TV: NBCSN, TSN, Altitude
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Colorado leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
10th
NOR 0
DUR 0
 
Final
WAS 3
STL 4
Final
CLE 0
TOR 5
Final
DET 5
ANA 2
Final
BOS 4
BAL 2
Final
KAN 5
MIN 4
Final
CHC 8
CIN 4
Final
OAK 4
HOU 3
5th
PIT 6
MIL 4
 
5th
NYM 1
ATL 3
 
5th
TAM 6
NYY 0
 
6th
MIA 2
SEA 0
 
2nd
TEX 1
CWS 1
 
3rd
LOS 0
ARI 0
 
2nd
COL 0
PHI 0
 
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
Final
TOR 87
BRK 94
Final
LAC 105
GSW 109
3rd
IND 53
ATL 60
 
9:30pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
2nd
PIT 3
CLB 2
 
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
10th
NOR 0
DUR 0