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, Tenn. (AP) continued to bolster their forward depth as they acquired Ryan Hartman from the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday before the NHL’s trade deadline.The Predators acquired Hartman and a fifth-round pick from Chicago for forward Victor Ejdsell, a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick.All picks exchanged are for the 2018 draft.”This fits us,” Predators general manager David Poile said. ”In terms of where he’s probably going to go in the lineup, it fits exactly what we need. We did a good job improving our center ice the last couple of seasons – (Ryan) Johansen and (Kyle) Turris, specifically.”We wanted a little bit of sandpaper in our lineup that could play at a higher level than a fourth-line type player. We got a guy that scored 19 goals last year, is 23 years of age, is hard to play against.”Hartman, a left wing, has 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in 57 games played with Chicago this season. Hartman will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.”Obviously something was going on, but I’m really excited,” he told Canada’s TSN. ”A great team obviously, a rivalry between both of us. It’s a tough building to play in when you’re the opposing team, but I’m excited to be in there wearing the yellow and playing in Nashville.”Poile had to think about making a deal with Central Division rival Chicago Youth Matt Irwin Jersey
, the team the Predators swept in the first round of the playoffs last year.”I always have a little bit of a pause when I do that,” Poile said. ”But I think it really comes down to you’ve got to get your best deal.”Clearly what we offered for Hartman was higher than anyone else or what they liked the most, or they wouldn’t have taken the deal. So (the Blackhawks) have got to take care of themselves. They’re in a little different place than we are right now.”One year removed from finishing first in the Western Conference with 109 points, the Blackhawks are in last place in the Central Division.”It’s disappointing, for sure,” Chicago general manager Stan Bowman said. ”But you can’t feel sorry for yourself. You have to sit here and try to plan for the future. I think what we’ve been able to do here today is position ourselves to get some really high value assets.”In the case of Victor, he’s not that far away from contributing. We don’t want to be in this position, obviously, but you are where you are.”The defending Western Conference champion Predators are loading up at forward. In addition to Hartman, the Predators signed former captain Mike Fisher to a one-year deal earlier Monday.And the team may not yet be done adding players. Poile is hopeful that 2017 first-round pick Eeli Tolvanen will make his way to Nashville when his season with Jokerit of the KHL concludes. Tolvanen starred for Finland at the Olympics, scoring three goals and adding six assists in five games.Entering Monday, the Predators held a two-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Central and trailed the Western Conference-leading Vegas Golden Knights by one point.The Jets also made an acquisition from a Central rival, getting forward Paul Stastny from the St. Louis Blues.Also Monday, the Blackhawks acquired a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft from the Boston Bruins for forward Tommy Wingels.Wingels has 12 points (seven goals Womens Mattias Ekholm Jersey
, five assists) in 57 games. He was signed by Chicago on July 1, 2017.— Last February, the beginning of the end for Mike Yeo unfurled in Nashville, although no one suspected it at the time.The St. Louis Blues‘ coach was sitting pretty on a Tuesday night with a 3-0 lead midway through the third period, his team about to move two points closer to the Predators in the Central Division race with plenty of time to catch them.Then Nashville roared back with three goals in a five-minute span to force overtime and won on a penalty shot by Filip Forsberg. That was the pivotal result in a seven-game losing streak that helped St. Louis miss the playoffs by one point.Article continues below ...Yeo’s Blues never gained any traction this season, either, and after a 2-0 loss Monday night to Los Angeles dropped their record to 7-9-3, the hangman arrived. General manager Doug Armstrong canned his third coach in seven-plus years and promoted Craig Berube on an interim basis. Berube doesn’t exactly get to ease into the new gig, taking St. Louis to Nashville Wednesday night for the first of a home-and-home series with the NHL’s top team. The division rivals square off again Friday night in St. Louis.The first job for Berube is to find a way to get a puck into the net. Monday night’s defeat was the third time in four games the Blues have been blanked. This time, it was by Cal Peterson, he of three games of NHL experience.“It’s hard to win when you don’t score goals,” forward Vladimir Tarasenko told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.The 45-year-old Yeo was the NHL’s second coach to lose his job this season, hours ahead of Edmonton parting ways with Todd McLellan on Tuesday.Los Angeles axed John Stevens on Nov. 3 in favor of Willie Desjardins. Like the Blues, the Kings are off to a slow start and face a serious uphill climb if they are to get into contention.Having gotten a coach fired P.K Subban Jersey
, St. Louis figures to come out with a detailed effort Wednesday night. But it went 0-for-4 last season against the Predators (15-5-1), and with key forwards like Patrick Maroon, Alexander Steen and Jaden Schwartz injured, scoring goals against Pekka Rinne doesn’t look like it will be easy.Rinne (8-2-1, 1.69 goals-against average, .942 save percentage) came up big for Nashville in a 3-2 victory Monday night over Tampa Bay, stopping 29 of 31 shots. He got help from defenseman Mattias Ekholm, who denied the Lightning a tying goal in the last 10 seconds by knocking a puck away from the goal line after it trickled off and behind Rinne.“We knew we were going to get pressured hard there at the end with their skill and six guys on the ice,” Rinne said. “But our guys did a great job — we blocked a lot of shots and made it hard for them.”The Predators might regain the services of All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban, who’s sat out the last three games with a lower-body injury.The Blues are expected to start Jake Allen (5-5-3, 3.33, .895), who has ceded just one goal in each of his last three outings.