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Nashville Predators 3, Minnesota Wild 0: Happy New Year!

That’s the way to turn the page to a new year, with a much better performance than the one 24 hours earlier.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s tilt with Minnesota - the back end of a home-and-home series - already had a foul tune to begin with, as the Predators announced that Filip Forsberg was placed on injured reserve following Friday’s 4-2 loss in St. Paul.

However, a three-goal third period was enough for the Predators to close out the 2017 portion of the schedule with a 3-0 victory over the Wild.

Needing a better start, the Preds seemed to have it in the first period despite penalties by P.K. Subban and Colton Sissons. The final 12 minutes of the period went off without further incident, however, and Nashville had a decent offensive push in the back half of the opening frame.

The Preds played a penalty-free second period, which is an accomplishment in and of itself.

Scott Hartnell’s wraparound finish was the first goal of the game – 2:23 into the third period – off a rebound generated by Nick Bonino.

Subban’s blasts were bound to get through at some point on the man advantage, and one did to add to the Preds’ lead midway through the third period.

Viktor Arvidsson’s empty-netter put the game away and secured the split in the home-and-home series.

Random Observations

  • That has to qualify as a better start, right? A whole… wait, never mind. Preds get called for a penalty as I’m typing this with 4:54 gone in the first period. Never mind. Well, the first four minutes were good from that standpoint.
  • The booing of Ryan Suter has reached comical levels now, as one Wild fan pointed out early on:
  • That penalty kill was a strong one, at least.
  • Oh, Kev. Thought you had it there, bud. Crossbar 1, Fiala 0. Check that frame for a massive dent.
  • Just a needless cross-check by Sissons. At least the power play was short-circuited by a Dumba penalty.
  • A couple of good looks with traffic in front late in the first period.
  • Did Emelin get a green light or something? Man, he’s trigger-happy tonight.
  • Good offensive push from the Preds to close out the first.
  • Matt Irwin joins the rush for some reason and Cody McLeod falls back to take his spot…nothing to see here, folks.
  • Tony Bitetto beat out an icing call. This is not a drill, folks.
  • Austin Watson drew a tripping call and maybe now the power play can get to work.
  • Joey, dang man. What a move to draw the penalty on Eriksson Ek, who looked like the awkward junior high prom date on that holding call.
  • These posts sound dead tonight. Definitely not the high note they’re used to singing when Arvy is ringing a shot off of it like that.
  • Koivu puts the Preds back on the power play. Let’s see if anyone notices.
  • Subban with two strong defensive plays late in the period at the end of the power play, which he also had a pair of good chances on as well. He’s played well.
  • If scoreless games can be fun, this one is. Good action at both ends despite the dueling goose eggs through 40 minutes.
  • Bonino makes the simple play – putting the puck toward the net – and Hartnell with the wraparound finish to finally punch through.
  • Minnesota’s going to cut another of it power plays short because of a Dumba penalty. That joke really writes itself.
  • Subban does get a blast through, and the friendly bounce helps for a 2-0 lead.
  • Fiala with the moves, but nothing to show for it. Have to think he’s about to really bust out soon.

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Saros. We didn’t have to talk about him much since he was so solid. He’s played much better since those first few starts and it’s really nice to see.
  2. Subban. 10 points in the last nine games - rather quietly, I might add.
  3. Hartnell. That kind of goal isn’t really why you have him, but they don’t ask you how, just how many.

Postgame Reaction


“The first five minutes didn’t really go the way that we wanted, but we really tilted the ice in our favor and we continued to roll after that.”

On Saros’ play in the shutout:

“He was awesome. I mean, both of them have been great all year. I think we played a lot better in front of Juuse than in front of Peks (on Friday). They’ve just been stellar for us, and we felt really bad yesterday because (Rinne) kept us in the game making 20 saves in the first period. We wanted to make sure we came out with a better effort today, and I felt we did that.”


“I’m feeling good. Every game is different, and I’ve just got to make the most of the opportunity. We were better in front of our net and had more effort today.”

Laviolette on filling Forsberg’s spot:

“I guess for the immediate replacement, Calle goes up in his spot and on the power play - and factors in for a couple of the goals. I thought he played a terrific hockey game.”

On Hartnell’s play:

“He’s battling. He’s trying hard out there. That play unfolded, just to have the awareness to get the puck around ... that’s his bread-and-butter (area). If you can put him within 10 feet of the net and draw a loop 10 feet around the net, that’s where he needs to be.”

On Saros:

“He’s really confident right now. He’s playing really well right now. I thought our guys did a much better job around him, but there’s still big saves that needed to be made. He’s got some confidence and his last four, five, six outings have been terrific.”

Tweets of the Night

Game Extras

Game Video