NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 5th
(All times eastern)
Minnesota Wild (12-12-3) at Nashville Predators (16-10-2), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Aiming to make up more ground in the Central Division, the
Nashville Predators begin a four-game homestand tonight versus the Minnesota
Wild at the Sommet Center.
Nashville returns home after a big 4-1 victory in Chicago on Friday night. The
triumph moved the Predators to within three points of the first-place
Blackhawks in the standings.
"Tonight was a huge test for us," said Jordin Tootoo after the win. "We knew
Chicago was a great team and have four lines that work. I think tonight we
wanted to play our game and we did a good job of that."
Tootoo, Dan Hamhuis and Martin Erat all finished with a goal and an assist in
the win, which came after the Predators had lost three of their last four.
Starting for just the second time in Nashville's last 10 games, Dan Ellis
ended with 34 saves.
Nashville is 8-2-0 at home since losing three of its first four contests at
Sommet Center to begin the season.
The Predators will look to cool down a Wild club that has won a season-high
four straight games for the first time since October 11-18, 2008. Minnesota's
last five-game winning streak came from October 4-14, 2007.
Playing in his fourth game since being acquired from Montreal, Guillaume
Latendresse had the game-winning goal of the shootout in Friday's 5-4 victory
Mikko Koivu and Antti Miettinen each posted two goals and one assist for the
Wild, who have gone to overtime or the shootout in each of their last three
games. Niklas Backstrom got the win despite allowing four goals on 22 shots.
"When we were struggling early, there wasn't a lot of confidence in the room.
There are some things that happened tonight that we could have folded under,"
said Wild head coach Todd Richards. "Miettinen is one of those guys on the
bench who really gets things going."
Minnesota begins a five-game road trip tonight and is just 3-9-2 as the guest
The Wild and Predators have split their first two meetings this year, with
both games taking place in Minnesota. The Wild have won four of their last six
12/05 10:42:16 ET