For the first time since December 3, 2011, the St. Louis Blues need to bounce back from a regulation loss at home.
The Blues lost 4-2 to the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in regulation last night, and are back at it again tonight against Nashville. It's understandable that the streak was ended by the Bruins, but the Blues have to win tonight.
A loss would land a much bigger blow to the team than it would even a week ago.
The Blues are currently 6-4 in their last 10 games, but the last two have been losses. Another loss tonight would tie the longest losing streak of the season at three. One week before the trade deadline is not the best time to have one of the season's longest losing streaks, especially when you are trying to fend off your divisional rivals.
Nashville is trending in the opposite direction of the Blues. The Predators are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games, winning their last two. A win against the Blues would put them one point behind them for the final playoff spot with home-ice advantage. The three-game winning streak would put them closer to passing their longest winning streak of five games.
History does not favor the Blues at all either. So far, Nashville has won every meeting this season, with a plus-six goal differential. The Blues have not been able to solve Pekke Rinne, who has gotten the win in every game they have played against each other. As for Nashville, it doesn't matter who is in net, the Predators have been able to solve him.
The Blues have been experiencing a swell of offense. In the last 10 games, the Blues have scored three-plus goals six times. The defense has also been stellar, allowing less than two goals in six of those 10. The last couple of games the Blues have faltered, but they look to get back on track against Nashville.
The Blues are second in the Central Division; Nashville is in third. The Blues are currently in fourth in the Western Conference; Nashville is in fifth. If the season series were a playoff series, Nashville would have won in a sweep.
The Blues need to figure out how to win against Nashville in the regular season now, because it seems that the two are destined to meet in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.