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Predators @ Minnesota Wild (Game 11): Preview

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The Nashville Predators head to the Twin Cities for the final time this season to take on the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night. This will be the second of three chances to give former team mate Ryan Suter a loss. These teams are heading in two different directions in the standings. Nashville is rising and jumping teams, while Minnesota is slowly moving down. Puck drops at 7:07 PM CT at Xcel Energy Center.

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

Line Up News

Starting Goaltenders:

Name W L OT GAA SV%
#30 Chris Mason 1 0 0 1.00 .967
#32 Nicklas Backstrom 3 4 1 2.76 .902

Projected Nashville Scratches: #23 W Brian McGrattan and #24 W Matt Halischuk; #27 W Patric Hornqvist (out; lower body)

Projected Minnesota Scratches: #6 D Marco Scandella, #17 W Torrey Mitchell  #42 Matt Kassian

Projected Lines

Nashville

#33 Colin Wilson #11 David Legwand #57 Gabriel Bourque
#74 Sergei Kostitsyn #12 Mike Fisher #10 Martin Erat
#18 Brandon Yip #13 Nick Spaling #15 Craig Smith
#16 Rich Clune #28 Paul Gaustad  
#6 Shea Weber #22 Scott Hannan
#8 Kevin Klein #59 Roman Josi
#75 Hal Gill #4 Ryan Ellis
#7 Jonathan Blum
#30 Chris Mason
#35 Pekka Rinne

Minnesota

#11 Zach Parise #9 Miko Koivu #63 Charlie Coyle
#15 Dany Heatley #64 Mikael Granlund #10 Devin Setoguchi
#7 Matt Cullen #31 Kyle Brodziak #22 Cal Clutterbuck
#27 Mike Rupp #96 Pierre-Marc Bouchard #28 Zenon Konopka
#20 Ryan Suter #44 Justin Falk
#77 Tom Gilbert #4 Clayton Stoner
#25 Jonas Brodin #39 Nate Prosser
#32 Nicklas Backstrom
#37 Josh Harding

Thoughts on Both Teams

Predators: If there was a word to describe the Predators currently, it would be "hot." Nashville is on a four game win streak and adding a fifth to that streak would be quite a successful task for not only the team, but the fanbase as well. 

Pekka Rinne has played extraordinary since the 4-0 loss in Glendale to the Coyotes. Rinne has allowed only three goals in four games against and is undefeated since switching his goalie pads back to the Reebok Premier 4's. 

The line of Colin Wilson-David Legwand-Gabriel Bourque was nothing short of great Thursday night against the Los Angeles Kings. Wilson (2) and Bourque combined for the only three goals for the Preds and the entire game. They are playing what Trotz calls "Predators hockey."

Wild: Minnesota is in trouble right now. Thoughts have been swirling around about the firing of head coach Mike Yeo because of their slow start to the season. "We have lost confidence," said Yeo about the state of their team in the midst of a three game losing streak.

Star defenseman Ryan Suter isn't playing a high standard of defense that is expected of him. Suter is a -7 in the +/- category through ten games. His offensive production is there, which should say something about the defense he has played looking at that stat.

Monday, the Wild made a trade with the New York Rangers for forward Mike Rupp to bolster up their physicality.

Minnesota Wild Players to Watch:

Name GP G A
#11 Zach Parise 10 6 4
#15 Dany Heatley 10 4 2
#20 Ryan Suter 10 0 4

 

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