Minnesota Wild @ Predators (Game 25): Preview

Print off for Warm Ups!

Ryan Suter returns to Bridgestone Arena for the first time since signing with the Minnesota Wild on Independence Day. The Nashville Predators look to win the series at home against the Wild and seek revenge against Suter. The Predators have a record of 10-9-5 with 25 points and ranked 10th in the Western Conference. The Wild are 11-9-2 with 24 points and ranked 11th in the Western Conference.

TV/Radio Coverage

Nashville: Fox Sports Tennessee and 102.5 The Game

Minnesota: Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Wisconsin and KFAN 100.3

Season Series

Date Away Home Result
1/22 NSH MIN 3-1 NSH
2/9 NSH MIN 1-2 MIN OT

Line Up News

Starting Goaltenders:

#35 Pekka Rinne 9 8 4 2.15 .917
#32 Niklas Backstrom 9 6 2 2.41 .911

Projected Nashville Scratches: #7 D Jonathon Blum, #24 W Matt Halischuk (conditioning assignment) and #27 W Patric Hornqvist (out; upper body injury); #18 W Brandon Yip (IR; upper body) and #75 D Hal Gill (IR; lower body)

Projected Minnesota Scratches: #28 W Zenon Konopka, #39 D Nate Prosser and #96 W Pierre-Marc Bouchard;#35 G Darcy Kuemper (IR; groin) and #37 G Josh Harding (IR; multiple sclerosis symptoms)

Projected Lines


#33 Colin Wilson #11 David Legwand #57 Gabriel Bourque
#23 Zach Boychuk #12 Mike Fisher #10 Martin Erat
#19 Bobby Butler #15 Craig Smith #13 Nick Spaling
#16 Rich Clune #28 Paul Gaustad #74 Sergei Kostitsyn
#6 Shea Weber #59 Roman Josi
#8 Kevin Klein #64 Victor Bartley
#4 Ryan Ellis #22 Scott Hannan
#35 Pekka Rinne
#30 Chris Mason


#15 Dany Heatley #21 Kyle Borodziak #22 Cal Clutterbuck
#11 Zach Parise #9 Mikko Koivu #63 Charlie Coyle
#16 Jason Zucker #7 Matt Cullen #10 Devin Setoguchi
#27 Mike Rupp #64 Mikael Granlund #17 Torrey Mitchell
#20 Ryan Suter #77 Tom Gilbert
#46 Jared Spurgeon #4 Clayton Stoner
#25 Jonas Brodin #44 Justin Falk
#32 Niklas Backstrom
#31 Matt Hackett

Thoughts on Both Teams

Predators: Nashville enters this game defeating the Edmonton Oilers Friday night, 6-0. The new look with Predators with Zach Boychuk, Bobby Butler and Victor Bartley changed the dynamics of the team and helped out with scoring most importantly. With the night before being a "test game", Saturday night will be the real deal, in front of another sellout crowd.

Expect Pekka Rinne to get the nod vs Minnesota. Last night, Rinne earned a shutout by stopping all 24 shots that he faced. This will be a big test for Rinne to see if he can play to the same, high level as usual on back-to-back nights.

Patric Hornqvist will be out of the lineup with an upper body injury suffered against the Oilers. Nashville will miss his net presence, but is also a golden opportunity for one of the new acquisitions to step up.

The three keys for the Preds to win are 1) Focus; 2) Limit time and space; and 3) No turnovers in defensive or netural zone.

Minnesota: Ryan Suter scored his first goal of the season Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks. It took 22 long games before he could light the lamp wearing the Wild uniform. Obviously, Suter wants this win bad to impress the fans he left behind, but that type of thinking will get him off of his game. The mental focus necessary would be all lost.

The Wild have lost two of their last three matches, but will need to change that around because they will be playing Nashville Saturday and Vancouver Sunday. Neither of which are easy opponents. Losing both games could prove to be catastrophic for making the playoffs or not.

The goaltending situation is a problem in St. Paul. Two goalies are currently on injured reserve with the most notable being Josh Harding is suffering symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a life threatening disease. Because of the two injuries to Harding and Darcy Kuemper, they had to recall Matt Hackett to backup Niklas Balckstrom who will have to put the team on his back.

Minnesota Wild Players to Watch:

Name GP G A
#20 Ryan Suter 22 1 14
#15 Dany Heatley 22 8 5
#21 Kyle Brodziak 22 3 2

Who scores the first goal of the game for Predators? Win a Preds player t-shirt, info here.