Heading into their regular-season finale, the Nashville Predators are still unsure of their playoff position.
The St. Louis Blues can only wish they had those concerns.
Nashville looks to continue its dominance over the Blues in its final tune-up for the postseason on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena.
In the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons, the Predators (46-29-6) can finish as high as fifth or as low as seventh in the Western Conference. They are currently tied for sixth with Los Angeles, two points behind Detroit. The Kings, however, have two games left while Nashville and the Red Wings each have one.
A victory in this game would give the Predators 100 points for the third time in franchise history. Nashville could’ve reached that mark Wednesday at Phoenix, but allowed three third-period goals in a 5-2 loss.
There was some good news to come out of the loss as captain Jason Arnott(notes) returned after missing the last eight games with a concussion. He had an assist for his 45th point to tie for fourth on the team.
Hornqvist’s absence, though, won’t help a power play that is 1 for 29 in the last 10 games.
Pekka Rinne(notes) wasn’t at his best against the Coyotes, allowing four goals on 29 shots, but is 9-3-1 with a 1.82 goals-against average and four shutouts in his last 13 starts. He’s stopped 54 of 58 shots in two wins against the Blues during that span, and is 4-1-0 with a 2.22 GAA in five starts versus St. Louis this season.
Nashville is 26-6-3 against the Blues since the start of the 2005-06 season, and 13-1-3 at home.
St. Louis (40-32-9) was unable to match last year’s late run to the postseason and will be home for the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons.
Poor play at Scottrade Center was a big reason for that disappointment as the Blues finished 18-18-5 at home, among the worst marks in the NHL. St. Louis rallied for a 6-3 victory over Anaheim on Friday for its sixth straight home win in Keith Tkachuk’s(notes) final game.
Tkachuk, who announced his retirement Wednesday, is not expected to play this game. He had two assists Friday and finished his 19-year career with 538 goals and 1,065 points.
“It was a special moment as soon as I got on the ice in warmups and it carried on all game,” said Tkachuk, who was honored in a postgame ceremony. “The way it ended, you couldn’t have scripted it better. It was incredible.”