NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 9th
(All times Eastern)
Nashville Predators (5-2-3) at Minnesota Wild (4-5-1), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The suddenly-hot Nashville Predators will aim for a fifth
straight victory when they visit the sliding Minnesota Wild for Saturday's
clash at Xcel Energy Center.
Nashville began this season with one win in its first six games (1-2-3) before
rattling off four consecutive victories. The Predators have allowed only three
goals during the winning streak, outscoring the opposition by a combined 13-3
After slamming the St. Louis Blues, 6-1, on the road on Tuesday, the Predators
posted a 3-0 home win Thursday evening against Los Angeles. Colin Wilson
scored twice and Pekka Rinne recorded 32 saves to notch his 26th career
shutout, as Nashville beat the defending Stanley Cup champions to earn its
first win of the season at Bridgestone Arena.
Gabriel Bourque also lit the lamp, while Kevin Klein added a pair of assists
for the Predators, who won the contest despite being outshot 32-14 by the
"We didn't have too many shots tonight, but it's nice that we're burying our
chances now and creating that offense," Wilson said. "It's certainly something
to build off of."
Nashville has a 4-2-1 road record this season and has won two straight and
three of its last four games in Minnesota. All told, the Predators have taken
four in a row and seven of their previous eight encounters with the Wild.
Minnesota has struggled mightily since posting a 4-2-1 mark in January, as the
club enters Saturday's game with an 0-3-0 record since the calendar flipped to
February. The Wild have been outscored by a combined 9-3 score during the
recent slide, which featured losses against Anaheim, Phoenix and Vancouver.
After losing to the Ducks and Coyotes on the road, the Wild were dealt a 4-1
home setback by the Canucks on Thursday. Vancouver scored the game's first
four goals over the first two periods and cruised to the win in the third.
Niklas Backstrom stopped just 12 of the 16 shots he faced for Minnesota, while
Tom Gilbert provided the team's lone goal. Gilbert has three goals in 10 games
this season, equaling his output from 67 games in 2011-12.
"[Vancouver] just played better than us. Pretty simple," said Wild forward
The setback dropped Minnesota's home record this season to 4-2-0.
02/09 11:10:32 ET