Gameday preview: Nashville at Wild
- February 5, 2014 - 8:25 PM
7 P.M. VS. NASHVILLE • XCEL ENERGY CENTER • FSN, 100.3-FM
Preview: The Wild, coming off a 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay, has won four in a row at home. This is the final game before a 20-day break for the Olympics. The Wild, minus its Olympians, resumes practicing Feb. 19. The Predators are 4-1-2 in their past seven overall and 3-1-2 in their past six on the road. The Wild is 2-1 against Nashville this season, coming off consecutive shutout victories.
Players to watch: Wild D Ryan Suter, the longtime former Predator, leads NHLers in average ice time (29 minutes, 44 seconds a game) and has had 28 30-minute games (14 in the past 25 games). C Charlie Coyle has no goals in 11 games (Jan. 11 was his last). In six games since returning from a broken foot, LW Zach Parise has three goals, eight points and 24 shots. G Darcy Kuemper will make his 12th consecutive start, a rookie team record. Predators D Shea Weber leads all NHL defensemen with 15 goals, nine on power plays. He has 25 points in the past 26 games. C David Legwand leads Nashville with 39 points and is on a four-game point streak. D Roman Josi has 10 points and is plus-10 in the past nine games. C Mike Fisher has 16 points in the past 19 games.
Numbers: The Wild is one of seven NHL teams with 20 home victories. … Seven of the past 10 meetings between the Wild and Predators have been decided by one goal. … Eight of Weber’s 15 goals have come in the first period.
Injuries: Wild D Marco Scandella (sprained knee), C Mikko Koivu (ankle surgery) and G Josh Harding (illness) are out. Predators G Pekka Rinne (hip) and C Nick Spaling (lower body) are out. F Viktor Stalberg (upper body) is questionable and C Matt Cullen (upper body) is probable.
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