7 p.m. vs. Nashville • Xcel Energy Center • FSN Plus, 100.3-FM
Preview: After having four days to rest and then ramp up, the Wild begins its final stretch of nine regular season-games against the team with the league’s best record. It will be the first of three games in four nights, and one of two vs. the Predators, who hold a 23-7-6 road record this season. The Predators lost 5-2 at home to Toronto on Thursday; before that, Nashville had gone 14-0-1 in its previous 15 games.
Players to watch: W Mikael Granlund has five points vs. Nashville this season, including a hat trick Dec. 29. G Devan Dubnyk is 2-0 vs. Nashville with a 3.01 GAA. The balanced Predators have three players with 52 or more points, including W Viktor Arvidsson (27 goals-29 assists — 56 points), W Filip Forsberg (21-32 — 53) and D P.K. Subban (15-37 — 52). G Pekka Rinne is first in the NHL in shutouts (eight), second in wins (40) and third in both save percentage (. 929) and goals-against average (2.26).
Numbers: The Wild is 2-1 this season vs. the Predators, winning 6-4 Nov. 16 and 4-2 Dec. 29, both at Xcel Energy Center. That second game was the first half of a home-and-home; on Dec. 30, the Predators won 3-0 in Nashville.
Injuries: Wild F Luke Kunin (torn knee ligament) and D Jared Spurgeon (right hamstring tear) are out. Nashville C Calle Jarnkrok (upper body) is out.