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Game Preview: Nashville Predators @ Minnesota Wild 3/13/22

The Preds have a chance to respond after a disappointing loss yesterday afternoon.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Minnesota Wild Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators lost a close one by a wide margin yesterday against the St. Louis Blues. Today they’ll get a chance for redemption in another four-point game, this time against the team directly above them in the standings: the Minnesota Wild. The Preds and Wild haven’t played each other since October, when the Preds won handily. They play each other twice in April after today’s meeting.

With Ryan Suter gone, a lot of the Bridgestone faithful’s animosity toward the Wild has dimmed. That makes it just another Sunday evening game, albeit one with big effects on the playoff picture; it lacks some spice. A low-stakes game might be nice for our nerves right around now, but this is as close as we’re going to get.

Kirill Kaprizov has been having a spectacular season. He leads the team in goals with 30, assists with 43, and points with 73. Mats Zuccarello is just behind him in assists, with two fewer tallied in seven fewer games, and in points, for a total of 60. Former Preds Kevin Fiala and Ryan Hartman have been major contributors. Hartman, fourth in points, is second in goals with 23, while Fiala is third in each offensive production category with 20 goals, 33 assists, and 53 points. Freddy Gaudreau has also been a regular this season.

The Wild still play a very good defense and a so-so offense, though they’ve been converting at a prodigious rate on their shots this year. Their goaltending has struggled, though with the skaters in front of them it hasn’t shown as much; Cam Talbot has managed a .906 sv% on the season and Kaapo Kahkonen a .913.

Their penalty kill has been just okay and their power play a bit of an offensive void, but here again the shooting and goaltending show through: the penalty kill has struggled, without excellent defense in front of the goalies, and the power play is pretty average, with shots being converted on. We’re likely to see a fair few minutes of both, as the Wild take a lot of penalties as well.

How to Watch

The game starts at 6PM Central and will air on Bally Sports South and 102.5 The Game.