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Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|St. Louis Blues||+1.5
|O 5.5 (-125)
|U 6.5 (+105)
The St. Louis Blues will face the division rival Nashville Predators for the third time this season. The Blues beat the Predators 5-3 in their last game in Nashville. Center Ivan Barbashev had a monster game and scored two goals paired with two assists. Both of these teams are trying to cement their playoff spots, so this game is crucial.
The St. Louis Blues have struggled over the last week and a half. They beat the New York Rangers 6-2 in their last game but lost their four games before that. They are missing Pavel Buchnevich for the second game in a row and need to make up for his absence. Jordan Kyrou and Vladimir Tarasenko will play a big part in making up for him. Kyrou has 22 goals and 33 assists and plays under 17 minutes a game; he is an efficient player and a playmaker. Tarasenko is a veteran that also plays efficiently. He is not as efficient as Kyrou, but he still is a game-changer with the puck. He has 19 goals and 30 assists. Even though the Blues have not been playing well for the last week and a half, they have been playing solid hockey since the NHL returned from postponement. That is because of goaltender Husso Ville. The Finnish goalie has become the starter after poor play from Jordan Binnington and excelled in that role. He only allows 2.16 goals per game, the fifth-best in the NHL.
The Nashville Predators are starting to separate from the middle of the pack and are on a three-game winning streak. They are sitting in the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference and have a three-point lead over the Dallas Stars in the second Wild Card spot. Defenseman Roman Josi and center Matt Duchene lead this team. Josi is a workhorse that plays over 25 minutes a game and has 46 assists, while Duchene is a goal-scorer that leads the Predators with 29 goals. The Predators also have an underrated goaltender in Juuse Saros. Saros has 28 wins and only gives up 2.38 goals per game. The Predators are playing at home, have momentum from their three-game winning streak, and are healthier than the Blues, so I expect them to win 3-2.
Nashville Predators beat St. Louis Blues 3-2. St. Louis Blues cover, Under 5.5 goals.
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|St. Louis Blues||Head-to-Head||Nashville Predators|
|Craig Berube||Head Coach||John Hynes|
|33-17-7 (2nd in Central Division)||Standing||33-20-4 (4th in Central Division)|
|Jordan Kyrou (55)||Points||Roman Josi (61)|
|Jordan Kyrou (22)||Goals||Matt Duchene (29)|
|Robert Thomas (34)||Assists||Roman Josi (46)|
|Justin Faulk (34)||+/-||Alexandre Carrier (19)|
|Vladimir Tarasenko (3.17)||Shots (Per Game)||Roman Josi (3.51)|
The Blues are the underdogs but have been better than the Predators at many points this season. They need to focus on drawing penalties and slowing down the duo of Roman Josi and Matt Duchene.
The Blues have the third-best power-play unit in the NHL. They convert on over 25% of their power-plays. They need to draw penalties and give themselves a man advantage; they will likely be facing an excellent goalie in Juuse Saros for the Predators and need to overwhelm him shots on the power-play.
The duo of Josi-Duchene duo is one of the best in the league. They have combined for 44 goals and 71 assists. They are especially deadly on the power-play. They have a combined 19 goals and 24 assists on the power-play. The Blues need to focus on them and slow them down to win this game.
The Predators are the favorites but have a questionable defense at times. Since that is the case, they need to limit the Blues’ shots and avoid penalties.
The Blues do not shoot that much, but the Predators give up 31.4 shots per game. That is not a ton, but it is too many. The Predators need to play tighter defense and limit those shots.
The Predators commit a lot of penalties. They have 713 PIM, 233 more PIM than the Blues. They need to play smarter and avoid penalties at all costs. They are facing a Blues squad that is very strong on the power-play.
Jordan Kyrou is the star of this team. He has 22 goals, 33 assists, and a +/- of 11.
Kyrou is unstoppable with the puck and commands a lot of attention. Since he draws so much attention, he can create opportunities for his teammates.
In this game, Kyrou will need to look for his opportunity a lot. He needs to step up and take charge.
Roman Josi is not a prototypical defenseman. The Swiss veteran shoots a lot and makes the right pass. Josi only has 15 goals, but he has 46 assists to go along with them.
Josi is a leader on the ice and leads the Predators in TOI at 25:09. The Blues defense should not be wary of him scoring (he only makes 7.8% of his shots), but they should cut off his passing lanes. If they do not, he will finish the game with a couple of assists.
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|St. Louis Blues vs Nashville Predators Information|
|What||St. Louis Blues vs Nashville Predators|
|Where||Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee|
|When||Saturday, March 12, 12:30 PM EST|
|How to Watch||NHL Network|
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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