The Nashville Predators will look to clean up their positioning and puck management when they visit the St. Louis Blues on Monday.
The Predators lost their previous two games ahead of the Central Division matchup at Enterprise Center. Nashville had a 1-0 second-period lead over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, but lost 3-2.
“I think we were in total control for 40 minutes of the game and then we made some mistakes,” Predators winger Yakov Trenin said. “And once we fix those, we’re going to be a better team.
“We need to play smarter and make the right decisions at the right time, especially in the third. Don’t make it easy for them, make them try to beat us.”
That was Predators coach John Hynes’ postgame message.
“Well, I think the big thing is in today’s game as we continue to talk with our team about is paying attention to details at key moments and key times,” Hynes said. “You have the one-goal lead. You have the too many men on the ice penalty at the end.
“They give a power play that they score on that. You have a four-on-four, three guys deep with one guy high and the fourth guy dives and gives up easy offense.”
The Predators, who are one point ahead of the Blues in the standings, won their previous game against St. Louis 6-2 in Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 27. Six different players scored, while Matt Duchene and Filip Forsberg each earned three assists.
Nashville is catching the Blues on the back end of back-to-back games. St. Louis fell to the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in overtime Sunday. The Blues led 2-1 before allowing a six-on-four goal in the game’s waning seconds.
“We’re all disappointed we didn’t win the game,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “It’s a good point. We battled, we did a lot of good things. We have to keep working, keep building off of it. We have a tough game again (Monday) coming.”
The Blues are just 2-7-1 in their last 10 games, but Berube is seeing signs of progress.
“I see a better attitude, for sure,” he said. “I’ve seen more team play, commitment.”
With other teams struggling to break away in the Central Division race, the Blues have remained in range despite their downturn.
“There’s a lot of light at the end of the tunnel,” Berube said. “But we have to start getting there. You string some wins together, you’re back in the hunt, you’re right there. It takes a lot of work, it takes a lot of effort, a lot of things done right.”
The Predators could be short-handed on defense after Alexandre Carrier and Jeremy Lauzon were knocked out of the Ottawa game with undisclosed injuries.
The Blues got defenseman Torey Krug back from his upper-body injury Sunday. But winger Pavel Buchnevich was sidelined again with a lower-body injury.
Buchnevich skated on his own before Sunday’s game and Berube said he had a “50-50” chance of playing against the Predators.
–Field Level Media