Blues-Predators Preview

For the first time in his illustrious career, Martin Brodeur will appear in an NHL game for a team other than the New Jersey Devils.

The NHL's all-time leader in wins and shutouts is slated to make his debut for the St. Louis Blues in Thursday night's matchup with the team that's tied with them atop the Central Division, the Nashville Predators.

With Brian Elliott out indefinitely because of a knee injury, St. Louis signed Brodeur to a one-year deal Tuesday. The 42-year-old netminder holds most of the league's goaltending marks, most notably 688 wins, 124 shutouts and 1,259 appearances - all with New Jersey.

He's also won four Vezina Trophies, three Stanley Cups and a pair of gold medals with Team Canada.

"I've been waiting for a great opportunity, and it came from the Blues," Brodeur told the league's official website. "I just want to have fun. I've got nothing to prove to myself. I just want to go out and enjoy the season and enjoy the winning like I was able to do in New Jersey for a lot of years."

Brodeur hasn't played in the NHL since the Devils' 2013-14 season finale April 13, a 3-2 win over Boston. He began skating with the Blues on Friday.

The future Hall of Famer will try to help St. Louis (16-7-2) bounce back from its first regulation loss in six games. Jake Allen was in net for a 4-1 defeat in Chicago on Wednesday that featured three Blackhawks goals in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the third period.

The Blues were 4-0-1 before that defeat and had taken a season high-tying three in a row on the road.

St. Louis' attempt to get back into the win column will come against a Nashville team that's won six straight at home and is 10-1-1 there this season. The Blues, who split two home matchups with the Predators in November, are seeking a seventh consecutive victory in Nashville.

They outscored the Predators by a combined 12-3 in last season's three visits, but Nashville (16-6-2) has appeared far more competitive in its first campaign under Peter Laviolette.

It had won a season-high four in a row - despite scoring a combined three goals in the final two victories - before a 2-1 loss at Carolina on Tuesday. Mike Ribeiro tallied his second goal in as many games with 4:46 remaining, but the Predators couldn't find the equalizer despite outshooting the Hurricanes 15-6 in the final period.

"There weren't a lot of Grade-A opportunities for us. They were pretty quick to defense and shutting things down. We can be better, but we couldn't catch them," Laviolette said.

Nashville got a tying goal late in the second period Nov. 13 in St. Louis but the Blues' Paul Stastny scored the lone one in the third in his team's 4-3 victory. The four goals match the most given up this season by Pekka Rinne, 16-4-1 with a 1.83 goals-against average.

James Neal had the tiebreaking goal in the final period and an assist in the Predators' 2-1 victory at the Scottrade Center on Nov. 8, but he doesn't have a point in his last seven contests.

Neal has four goals and three assists in his last seven games against St. Louis. The Blues' Vladimir Tarasenko has three goals and five assists in his last six matchups with Nashville.

Brodeur will face the Predators for the first time since a 5-0 victory in New Jersey on Nov. 10, 2013, his 123rd career shutout.

Nashville last won seven in a row at home Oct. 29-Nov. 23, 2009.

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