Tonight, the Predators square off against the Minnesota Wild in the first of a home-and-home series. This is the second meeting with the Wild after a disappointing 6-4 loss in November. Last time out, the Wild showed the Predators that they can’t fall asleep in the third period.
The Minnesota Wild
The Wild are 19-15-3 on the season. They seem to be bitten by the injury bug like many other Central foes, but do not underestimate this team.
Minnesota recently took out the Dallas Stars on Wednesday at home by a score of 4-2. The usual suspects were involved in goal scoring, including Eric Staal, Mikael Granlund, and Jason Zucker. Staal and Zucker lead the team in points, followed by Ryan Suter and Matt Dumba.
Forward Zach Parise was assigned to the Iowa Wild earlier this week for a conditioning assignment. He is recovering from surgery, and is likely to return to the NHL lineup in the next few weeks.
Goaltender Devan Dubnyk backed up Alex Stalock in Wednesday’s victory, and could be nearing a return to his starting role after several weeks of injury. Dubnyk has a .916 SVC, and Stalock has a .915.
The Wild sit behind Dallas in the Central Division with 41 points.
The Nashville Predators
After a fairly dominant game against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, the Predators are looking to grab more points against Central Division foes. The main storyline remains the return of Ryan Ellis.
After dropping three games before Christmas, the Predators looked like they were back to their winning ways on Wednesday. Pekka Rinne looked comfortable and only allowed one goal in the contest. Captain Roman Josi was all over the ice, and the Kevin Fiala-Kyle Turris-Craig Smith line continued to tear up the ice and create chance after chance.
Calle Jarnkrok is quietly putting up excellent numbers this season, with 10 goals and 8 assists so far. Filip Forsberg has 34 points so far, and we could certainly see more Fiala-Turris-Smith points tonight. Let’s be honest...we’d LOVE to see more points from this hot line.
Memories and Feelings
-The Predators sure looked dumb the last time they were in Minnesota. They went up by a 4 goal lead and eventually dropped the game in the third because of lackluster, apathetic play. Let’s redeem ourselves, eh?
Reasons to Watch
-It’s freaking cold outside...why would you want to be anywhere except near a TV watching tonight’s action?
Tonight’s Theme Song
“It Ain’t My Fault” by the Brothers Osborne.
How to Watch
Tonight’s game will be on NBC Sports. For the radio call, tune in to 102.5 The Game. Puck drop is at 7 pm!