Predators look to double down against Blues

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The Nashville Predators snapped their six-game winless streak by beating the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Saturday night in St. Louis. That was just their second victory in their last 10 games.

Now they hope to build on that breakthrough when the teams meet again in Nashville.

“Winning is a lot more fun than losing, and I thought we worked really hard tonight,” Predators captain Roman Josi told reporters after the game. “We can enjoy this for a couple minutes, but obviously we’re playing them again Monday, so it’s going to be even harder.”

Forward Austin Watson noted that the team’s slump won’t end until the Predators string together victories.

“We were just trying to get that one, and we got it,” Watson told reporters. “When you’re in it rough like we were, the first one is hard to get. It feels like it just eludes you no matter what you do. So, credit to everybody in here, right down to the staff, to the players, everybody stayed with each other, and we were able to find a way to get a big win tonight.

“But it’s not even close to over with. We have to bring it. We have to be ready to bring that same effort every time we step on the ice, especially coming up again Monday.”

The Predators may be without two-time 30-goal scorer Viktor Arvidsson. He exited the game with a lower-body injury after absorbing two cross-checks from defenseman Robert Bortuzzo — who faces league discipline for his actions.

On the other hand, they can expect a good game from Filip Forsberg. His goal Saturday gave him 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) in 26 career games against the Blues. He has five goals and three assists in nine games this month.

Juuse Saros earned the victory for the Predators. No. 1 goaltender Pekka Rinne is 1-4-0 with a 5.29 goals-against average and an .814 save percentage this month.

The Blues will seek to rebound after suffering just their fifth regulation loss in 24 games. They fell behind 1-0 just 20 seconds into the game and they spent the rest of the night chasing the Predators.

“They were more desperate and definitely came out harder than we did,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “I think a lot of the puck management was losing 50-50 battles, making soft plays with the puck. We weren’t heavy enough tonight.”

They let the Predators fly around the ice and pepper goaltender Jordan Binnington with shots. Binnington made 39 saves — include two on short-handed breakaways — to keep the game close.

“The breakaways were just breakdowns; that shouldn’t happen,” Berube said. “They’re a fast team. They can skate. There’s plays that shouldn’t happen but we just weren’t sharp. … We didn’t close anything out in our own end. We gotta play better defense. We gotta play harder. Gotta play better. We weren’t very good.”

The Blues start a three-game road trip, with games at Tampa Bay and Dallas to follow. They hope to get veteran forward Troy Brouwer in the lineup. He signed last week but has been unable to play due to visa troubles.

–Field Level Media

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