Originally posted on Inside Smashville  |  Last updated 2/3/12

On Saturday night, the Nashville Predators host their Central Division rivals when the St. Louis Blues visit Bridgestone Arena. It will be the first home game for the Predators since January 23rd when Nashville beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1.

The Predators face the Blues for the fourth of six meetings this season between the two clubs on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena

Predators Captain, Shea Weber says Nashville needs to put Thursday night’s 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers behind them.

“Every game is important. [Thursday] night’s game was important and we lost it, so we need to get back on the horse and worry about Saturday,” Weber said, adding, “Obviously we love playing at home. We get a lot of motivation from the crowd so it is going to be fun.”

This season, Nashville has won all three times that the Predators and Blues have met, but the games have been close.

Head Coach Barry Trotz explains Nashville’s success against St. Louis. “I think we have similar philosophies. I understand what St. Louis does. They understand what we do. We have been able to end up on the right side. The two games that we won in their building, the first one we had no business winning, it was all Pekka Rinne’s doing. The second one we got a couple of timely goals with a power play goal and we won in a shootout. They have all been close games. It is going to be a playoff-style game [Saturday],” Trotz said.

Close match-ups are nothing new between the Predators and Blues with 16 of their last 24 meetings being decided by one goal. In 78 games played against the Blues, 22 overtime periods have been required to decide a winner. The Predators have 12 wins and 10 overtime/shootout losses in those games. Of the 22 games to need extra time to decide a winner, 11 have gone to the shootout where Nashville has excelled with an 8-3 record in shootouts against St. Louis.

Defenseman Kevin Klein says the defensive nature of both clubs is what makes for the close contests. “I think the big thing is both teams are fairly defensive and play a physical style of game. The goaltenders are good on both sides. It is always a tight match. We have had success against them and we need to keep it going playing in front of our home crowd,” he said after practice on Friday at Bridgestone Arena.

Matt Halischuk agrees. “We are two similar teams. We are tight checking teams so the games are always close. The building is going to be exciting tomorrow so we are looking forward to it.”

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