How do the Blues beat the Preds more often than not? By scoring three goals! How do they score three goals? By playing three whole periods of hockey.
Tuesday night we saw the unfortunate return of the "oh, we'll play about a period and a half to try to come from behind" school of thought that the Blues have fallen under the spell of before in the past. Sure, the third period in Chicago was great, and so was a good part of the second. But they got completely outworked in the first period and a half and couldn't force overtime. Monday, the Blues managed to force that overtime and win in the obligatory shootout against the Nashville Predators. Not every game will be as easy as Saturday's.
So, what do the Blues have to do to win? Common knowledge says two things: play at home (check!) and score more than three goals. The Blues are 39-1-2 when scoring three or more goals since last season, and also since last season they are 31-6-5 at home. The Predators are always a hard team to beat, despite the fact that the Blues have beaten them three times in a row -- what's the commonality there? Again, three goals.
When they score less than three, the Blues might get a pity point (they've gotten a point in 10 of their last 12 against the Preds) but with a shortened season, the Blues need both points and can't let the pity points be given away to their opponents. Thankfully, they've already shown that they can score. Vladimir Tarasenko has five points (three goals, two assists) in three games, and very nearly added another goal on Tuesday. Kevin Shattenkirk and Alex Pietrangelo are one and two in defenseman scoring. And, of course, the little waterbug Andy McDonald has a three game scoring streak to continue tonight. Pucks to the chin don't stop him.
if you're going tonight, be sure to welcome new face on an old body Wade Redden. He'll be wearing #6. Jaroslav Halak is back in net, hoping for a better performance than he had on Monday against the Preds. Maybe the Blues league leading power play (!) can lend him a hand.