NBC’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with Sunday’s matchup between the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators. Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
The Predators have a comfortable cushion ahead of the teams below them in the Central Division as they chase the Winnipeg Jets for the top spot, but losses like they had on Saturday could catch up to them if they don’t quickly get back on course.
Having won five of their last seven, they don’t have to worry about the hard-charging Blues yet being 13 points ahead of their Sunday opponents and nine points up on the Dallas Stars, who sit in the third place in the division with two games in-hand. But with St. Louis on a roll, evening out their weekend home-and-home series following the Blues’ 3-2 win on Saturday will help them leapfrog Winnipeg should the Jets fail to get a win in Buffalo.
“Not good,” said Predators head coach Peter Laviolette after Saturday’s loss. “They were faster. We didn’t play the game fast enough, didn’t have enough attitude in the game, and not enough guys on the rope either. It just wasn’t good; wasn’t a good day.”
St. Louis jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes and added a third midway through the second period.
“The effort in the first two periods was not good enough,” said defenseman Mattias Ekholm said. “They were dicating the play, they were all over us. [Sunday], we need more like we played in the third. I thought we stepped it up a little bit and we were more on the attack. We were skating harder, we were more physical, and that’s something that we need to do more [Sunday].”
Nashville won’t have much time to sit and stew about their effort with Sunday’s 12:30 p.m. ET matinee. They likely won’t be facing red-hot Jordan Binnington, so that’s a bonus for their chances, and they’re already eager to exact some revenge.
“Pekka kept us in that game, but our first 40 minutes were just not good enough,” said Predators forward Ryan Johansen. “The good thing is we are right back at it [Sunday] against the same team, and the work we brought in the third period is what we need tomorrow for the whole game.”
John Forslund (play-by-play), Joe Micheletti (analyst) and McGuire (‘Inside-the-Glass analyst) will have the call from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. McHugh, Milbury and Jones will anchor studio coverage.