Nashville Predators 44-24-8
St. Louis Blues 47-20-9
Fisher will look for his 25th goal of the season on Tuesday night.
The St. Louis Blues are battling the New York Rangers for the top spot in the National Hockey League. While the Blues contend for the President’s Trophy, the Nashville Predators battle for fourth spot in the Western Conference standings and home ice during the first round of the playoffs. The Predators and Blues meet for the final time on Tuesday night at Scottrade Center.
The Predators lead the Blues 4-0-1 in the season series. While Nashville maintains a 16-7-0 record in St. Louis since 2005-06, the rivals often play close contests, with 17 of the last 26 meetings between the two clubs decided by one goal.
Goaltender Brian Elliott is coming off of back-to-back shutouts going into Tuesday night’s game against the Predators and has not allowed a goal in 126 minutes, 45 seconds. Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Dispatch reports that Elliott will be in goal Tuesday night against Nashville.
Some key players have recently returned to the Blues lineup from injury. Alex Steen and Kris Russell both returned to the lineup after recovering from concussions while Andy McDonald, Roman Polak and Matt D’Agostini remain out of the Blues lineup with injuries. Rutherford says there is a chance D’Agostini will play on Tuesday against the Predators. D’Agostini has been out of the lineup since early February with a concussion.
McDonald is out of the lineup with a shoulder injury, having missed his last three games. Polak has also missed the last three games after sustaining a bruised knee.
The Predators have Roman Josi and Martin Erat out with upper-body injuries. Jordin Tootoo started the game Sunday against Chicago, but after getting into a fight early in the first period, Tootoo left the ice and did not return.
The weekend game in Chicago started a stretch of four contests that sees the Predators pitted against their divisional foes, all playoff-bound teams. Nashville’s 6-1 rout of Chicago added to the Predators already strong record against Central Division rivals. Nashville maintains the best intra-division record in the Western Conference with a 15-3-3 record. Only Boston has a better intra-division record with a 17-4-1 record.
Mike Fisher has led the way for Nashville with 9 goals in 18 divisional games. On Sunday, Fisher had a goal and an assist against Chicago. Since January 1st, Fisher has posted 34 points, including 17 goals and 17 assists in 37 games. In total, Fisher has 24 goals on the season and is just one point shy of reaching 50 points for the second time in his career. Fisher is also just one goal shy of tying his career-high 25 goals set during the 2009-10 season.
With opponent defensemen switching focus away from Fisher’s line to focus on Alexander Radulov, expect the strong offensive effort from the alternate captain to continue down the stretch and into the playoffs. As for Radulov, he has picked up three points in his first three games back with the Predators including 1 goal and 2 assists, playing on a line with Patric Hornqvist and David Legwand.
The Predators are currently in a back-and-forth battle for fourth place with the Detroit Red Wings. Only one point separates the two teams and they meet on Friday night at Joe Louis Arena to perhaps settle the issue once and for all.