When Andy Murray tries again to get his first win as coach of the St. Louis Blues, he’ll also have to stop a pair of lengthy losing streaks and beat a team coming off one of its best games this season.
The Blues will try to end a pair of nine-game skids as they start a home-and-home series with the Nashville Predators at Gaylord Entertainment Center on Saturday.
Since the end of the lockout, the Blues (7-19-4) are 0-8-1 against the Predators. Special teams play is a big reason for the skid—the Blues’ power-play unit has just four goals in 43 chances with the man advantage while their penalty killers have allowed 10 in 53 opportunities.
Overall, St. Louis dropped its second straight since Murray took over Tuesday for the fired Mike Kitchen and ninth in a row after a 4-1 defeat to Colorado on Thursday.
“Everyone played well in front of me in the first period. I can’t tell you what happened in the second period,” said Bacashihua, who’s been starting due to injuries to Manny Legace (head) and Curtis Sanford (groin).
The Blues, though, may have Legace back for this contest. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on its Web site Friday that Legace was activated from injured reserve and rookie netminder Marek Schwarz was returned to Peoria of the AHL.
Should Legace get the start in this game, he will try for his first win in regulation since beating Colorado at home on Nov. 2. He’s lost his last four games, including three starts, and has a 4.03 goals-against average in that span. Legace also made just 12 saves in a 5-4 loss to the Predators on Nov. 30.
After scoring the first goal in each of its last four games, St. Louis has been outscored 16-3 after that.
Nashville (20-8-3), meanwhile, won for the fifth time in six games at home with a 6-0 rout of Ottawa on Thursday.
“I just wanted to go out and get my legs underneath me,” said Sullivan, who missed the previous two games with a groin injury. “I just wanted to make sure I didn’t hurt the hockey team.”
Nashville has outscored opponents 28-10 in its last six home games.
Paul Kariya also had three assists in the win, and will try to keep up that momentum against a team he’s dominated recently. In his last seven games against the Blues, Kariya has four goals and six assists.
Mason is 4-0-2 with a 2.18 GAA at home this year. He made 38 saves in last month’s win over the Blues to improve to 5-0-0 with a 1.92 GAA and two shutouts lifetime against them
The Predators and Blues will complete the home-and-home set on Sunday in St. Louis.