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Predators At Blues Preview: Battle For First Place... Again

The Central Division's top two teams are going at it again tonight, less than a week since they faced off in St. Louis.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Allen has played very well this season. He's 4-1-0, with a .944 save percentage and a 1.40 GAA. Has he been challenging Brian Elliott for the starter's position? Not necessarily, but it's nice to have a working 1A and 1B tandem that is utilized as such. Allen will be starting in net tonight against the Nashville Predators, who defeated the Blues 2-1 Saturday night at Scottrade.

That game exposed the flaw in the Blues' current system. "Get the puck to someone on the STL line" works, but there are three other lines, two of which are capable of providing offense. You can't have only a third of your top nine scoring consistently. Yes, the Blues' offense was impressive Tuesday night as they bumped off the Buffalo Sabres 6-1, but five of those goals came from two people, the Blues were gifted a five minute powerplay because Buffalo's team is made up of 3 year olds, and because Buffalo is awful. Games like tonight's are the true barometer of how well the Blues are coming along this season.

Last Saturday the Blues were flat and let Fillip Forsberg manhandle them. He's on a seven game point streak, producing along the same volume as Tarasenko, though as far as a complete line Nashville doesn't have one like the STL line, who has 25 points in six games.(I need to look at dates on sources - NSH's top line is producing on a similar clip).

Ryan Reaves may be out again tonight with a wonky ankle, though the Preds are all business, so fighting won't be an issue. Pekka Rinne will be the issue, but the Oilers snuck two goals past him - hopefully the Blues can do the same, or more.