NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, December 2nd
(All times eastern)
Nashville Predators (15-10-1) at Minnesota Wild (10-12-3), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Wild will try for their first three-game
winning streak of the season when they welcome the Nashville Predators for
tonight's clash at Xcel Energy Center.
This marks the first of two games this week between the Wild and Predators as
the clubs will also meet in Nashville this Saturday. It's not a home-and-home,
however, as both teams will face different teams on Friday.
The Predators recorded a 4-3 regulation win in Minnesota when the teams faced
off on October 28. The clubs have split the last six meetings and the Wild
have come out on top in seven of the last 11 encounters. Minnesota also has
three victories in the last five matchups in the Gopher State.
The Wild are coming off a home-and-home sweep of Colorado and will try to win
three straight for the first time since ending the 2008-09 on three-game
winning streak from April 7-11.
Minnesota earned a 5-3 home decision on Friday against the Avalanche and then
posted a shootout victory the following night in Denver. Andrew Ebbett and
Mikko Koivu each scored a goal in the shootout on Saturday to lift the Wild to
the 3-2 decision at Pepsi Center.
Guillaume Latendresse scored his first goal in his second game with the Wild,
who are 11-1-2 in their last 14 games against Colorado. Latendresse came over
last week from Montreal in a trade for forward Benoit Pouliot.
Eric Belanger also scored, and Josh Harding made 20 stops to get his first win
of the season in his fourth try. The Wild are expected to go back to regular
starter Niklas Backstrom tonight.
The Wild could be without defensemen Kim Johnsson (flu) and Marek Zidlicky
(lower body) and forward Antti Miettinen (flu) tonight. The trio are listed as
Minnesota, which is 7-3-1 as the host this year, is playing the first of two
straight at home tonight. The Wild will also host Anaheim on Friday before
beginning a five-game road trip with Saturday's test in Nashville.
The Predators, meanwhile, have dropped two of their last three games following
a season-high, seven-game winning streak.
Nashville also ended a three-game homestand on a down note when it lost 5-0 to
Calgary on Monday. Miikka Kiprusoff posted his third shutout of the season
with 22 saves and Jarome Iginla led a group of five different goal-scorers for
Ryan Suter had a team-high three shots for the Predators, while Pekka Rinne
was beaten four times on 29 shots in defeat.
The Preds are starting a two-game road trip tonight and will also visit
Chicago on Friday before kicking off a four-game homestand against the Wild.
Nashville is 6-5-1 as the guest this year, but has won its last two games away
from the Music City.
12/02 10:39:10 ET