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Predators hope to spark slumbering offense vs. Blues

St. Louis (24-26-7) at Nashville (27-28-3), 8:00 p.m. EST

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- The Nashville Predators look to

spark their slumbering offense when they host the St. Louis

Blues on Thursday.

Beginning a stretch of playing six of their next seven games at

home, the Predators have lost two in a row and four of six. In

those four setbacks, they have amassed a total of six goals.

Nashville's most recent loss was caused by several defensive

lapses from the special teams' unit. The Detroit Red Wings

scored five power-play goals in their 6-2 win over Nashville on

Wednesday and constantly tested goaltender Dan Ellis, who

finished with 35 saves.

Starting in place of rookie Pekka Rinne for the third time in 13

games, Ellis did not receive help from his team's usually strong

penalty kill unit, which ranks fourth in the NHL with an 84.9

percent mark.

The Predators are 16-11-1 at home and will need a lengthy run if

they plan on getting back in the Western Conference playoff

race. They are in 12th place with 57 points - two ahead of the

last-place Blues, Colorado Avalanche and Phoenix Coyotes.

St. Louis had its two-game winning streak halted after

Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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