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Nashville Predators 3, Minnesota Wild 1: Rinne Dominates Wild, Preds Remain In 1st

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Pekka Rinne made 36 saves for the Predators in a 3-1 win. The Wild, with all respect to train wrecks, are a train wreck.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

While waiting to find out who among them will be attending the All-Star game, the Nashville Predators took on the Minnesota Wild in an early afternoon game. The Wild had more energy and chances in the first half of this game, but with Pekka Rinne keeping the team in it early and the offense eventually finding life in the 3rd Period, the Predators took this one 3-1 and left town with 2 more points. A dominating 3rd period capped off a stellar performance by Pekka Rinne.

Mike Fisher, Calle Jarnkrok, and Colin Wilson scored for the Preds. Charlie Coyle scored the only goal for the Wild.

Still in 1st!

Random Observations

  • Pretty lopsided goal-tending matchup here, with Pekka Rinne going against the veteran Niklas Backstrom. Rinne is at or near the top of the league in most goal-tending categories, while Backstrom... uh... isn't.
  • Mike Fisher backhands home the first goal of the game! Once again, credit Colin Wilson for his work behind the net to win the puck and then to wait patiently for Fisher be wide open in the slot. A 1-0 Preds lead is a great way to start the afternoon.
  • Wild have been the better team this period. Too many quality scoring chances given up. Missing Ryan Ellis maybe?
  • And now they tie it up. Charlie Coyle with the wide open rebound goal behind Rinne. Not great defensively right now. Rinne has made some important saves thus far, including a huge one on Parise.
  • Mike Yeo, when he now infamously lost it at practice, probably wasn't asking for more blind behind-the-back passes on breakaways, but even if he was, Thomas Vanek clearly wasn't listening. Preds and Wild fans alike are scratching their heads on that one.
  • For I think the 2nd or 3rd game in a row, at the 10 minute mark of the 2nd period the Predators have less than 10 shots in the game. Not enough sustained offensive pressure, combined with defensive turnovers and too many penalties are certainly contributing to this. Feeling good that the game is tied, but with Minnesota at the bottom of the division, this is a game we have no business losing.
  • Matt Cullen goes down briefly and heads to the bench. Though he came back for his next shift, he just came off IR, so we probably won't see him much in the 3rd.
  • Backstrom gives up huge, Peter Jackson film budget sized rebounds, and we have yet to find one. That might be our ticket out of here with a win.
  • THE IRONHOOK! Jarnkrok finds one of those Backstrom rebounds and gives the Preds a 2-1 lead 4 minutes into the 3rd. Plenty of time to send it home... you had to figure one would be there eventually.
  • Now Wilson scores on a baaaad turnover by the Wild. Willy backhands the wide open look for a 3-1 lead. Now we're cookin...
  • Waiting for Mike Yeo to call timeout and line his team up on the wall, slam his stick and curse at his team.
  • Just a ridiculous save by Rinne as he double-stops the Wild. Should have been a goal, but Rinne says NOPE.
  • When Shea Weber punches you, just do like Matt Cooke and try to dig a hole in the ice and hide.
  • Fights fights and more fights. The Wild have reached 17 year old jealous teenage girl status.
  • Whoa. Mike Fisher just went crazy on Nate Prosser. Think Vin Diesel + Liam Neeson + Mike Tyson.
  • Preds win this one. The Wild are probably more worried about tomorrow's practice. #trainwreck

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Pekka Rinne: with the offense not producing early, Pekka was dominant in net again, including a nice Jedi Mind Trick on Vanek. 36 saves on the day.
  • Calle Jarnkrok: Ironhook has done nothing but work hard and improve his game since the beginning of the year. Great to see him with some production recently.
  • Colin Wil$on: Just can't say enough about his play. 1 goal and 1 assist today.

Tweets Of The Game

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Do. Not. Make. Weber. Mad <a href="https://t.co/xt4g0NG1Fh">https://t.co/xt4g0NG1Fh</a></p>&mdash; On The Forecheck (@OnTheForecheck) <a href="https://twitter.com/OnTheForecheck/status/554031211937812480">January 10, 2015</a></blockquote>

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