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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, April 13th (All times Eastern)
Nashville Predators (37-32-12) at Minnesota Wild (43-26-12), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Wild put a seven-game point streak on the line Sunday evening when they take on the Nashville Predators in a regular- season finale.
The Wild, who have clinched the first wild card spot in the Western Conference, have won four in a row while going 6-0-1 in their last seven games. They hope to carry that momentum into the playoffs against the winner of the Central Division, either the St. Louis Blues or Colorado Avalanche.
Minnesota got a pair of goals from Kyle Brodziak in Thursday's 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Nino Niederreiter added a goal and an assist, Matt Moulson scored and Matt Cooke finished with two assists.
John Curry, the fifth goalie to start a game for the Wild this season, made 43 saves in his debut with the club. Curry's start gave Ilya Bryzgalov the night off and came with fellow goaltender Darcy Kuemper battling a lower-body injury.
"He's a gamer and a battler. He showed that tonight. Obviously, very pleased for him. It was a long road back for him," Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo said about Curry, who appeared in his fifth career NHL game and first since Jan. 16, 2010 while a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Thursday's victory did feature an ugly incident by Wild forward Mike Rupp hit the Blues' T.J. Oshie in the head with a shoulder, drawing a match penalty that resulted in a four-game suspension for Rupp.
The suspension includes tonight's game and the first three playoff games.
Rupp was playing in his first game since Feb. 1.
The Wild are expected to have defenseman Clayton Stoner in the lineup tonight for the first time since he suffered a lower-body injury on March 22.
Minnesota has won three in a row and five of its last six games versus Nashville, taking three straight at home in that span.
The Predators bring a six-game point streak into tonight's meeting and bested the Chicago Blackhawks 7-5 on Saturday. Nashville scored five times in the third period, with Patric Hornqvist netting the go-ahead goal with 58.2 seconds remaining in the game.
Hornqvist, Shea Weber, Matt Cullen and Craig Smith all had a goal and an assist, while Paul Gaustad notched a goal and two helpers. Mike Fisher finished with three assists and Pekka Rinne yielded five goals on 25 shots.
"We were just trying to win a game and finish out the season on a good note," said Weber, who leads all NHL defenseman with 22 goals.
Nashville is 5-0-1 over its past six games and finished its home schedule with a record of 19-17-5.
04/13 10:53:10 ET