Minnesota Wild 2, Nashville Predators 0: Pekka Rinne's Strong Play Wasted in Loss

Rinne stood tall in the Nashville net tonight, but the skaters in front of him couldn't muster a goal.

The Nashville Predators played one of their ugliest games in recent memory, rarely threatening to score in a 2-0 loss at Minnesota. The Preds were out-shot 29-16 on the night, and once down 1-0, it seemed like Nashville just didn't have the legs to climb back into the game, despite the Wild missing defenseman Jonas Brodin after he took a puck to the face early on.

Pekka Rinne played another solid game in the Nashville net (27 saves on 28 shots), but no goalie can be expected to pull out a win when his team gets out-shot by such a ridiculous margin. In the final minute, with Rinne pulled for an extra attacker, the Preds did get one puck behind Josh Harding that trickled slowly towards the goalline, but it was swept out of harm's way by Minnesota defenseman Jared Spurgeon.

The loss drops Nashville to a 5-4-1 record as they return home to face Winnipeg on Thursday (get your tickets right here, folks!).

Random Observations

  • The Wild have been playing stifling defensive hockey in 5-on-5 play, and they simply shut down the Predators all night. Only Craig Smith and occasionally Matt Cullen showed much in the offensive end.
  • The power play was pretty awful as well, as Nashville generated no shots on goal during 4:00 of 5-on-4 time, including a tremendous chance in the 3rd period while Minnesota was short-staffed on D due to Nate Prosser sitting in the box after a fight with Eric Nystrom.
  • What does Viktor Stalberg need to do to get time on a top line? I don't think the Preds signed him to a 4-year $12 million contract to much along with Nick Spaling & Rich Clune.
  • Speaking of Clune, I can't say I was impressed with his return to the lineup. That fight at the start of the game screamed "hyper", which looks like a troubling trend in his game.
  • I haven't noticed this previously but Seth Jones & Eric Nystrom wear their chin straps waaaaay too loose. Looks be damned, they don't need helmets sliding loose during a fall, leading to a skull fracture. Tighten 'em up, boys.
  • Filip Forsberg scratched? WTF?

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - Fancy Stats

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Who was your Predator of the Game?

Pekka Rinne, 27 saves87
Craig Smith, 5 shots on goal11
Filip Forsberg, healthy scratch60