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 margin.
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 Kings.
"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 Zach Parise.
The setback dropped Minnesota's home record this season to 4-2-0.
02/09 11:10:32 ET