NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, January 12th
(All times Eastern)
Minnesota Wild (24-18-5) at Nashville Predators (19-20-7), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Nashville Predators would prefer to avoid another
shootout on Sunday night when they resume their homestand against the
The Predators are winless in five shootouts this season, scoring just one goal
in 18 shots in the tiebreaker. Both Craig Smith and David Legwand were denied
in last night's 2-1 shootout setback to Ottawa while Marek Mazanec was beaten
by both Senators skaters he faced.
Mazanec made 20 saves through overtime and Mike Fisher had a goal for
Nashville, which is 1-1-1 on a five-game homestand and 1-2-3 in its last six
"We haven't been doing too good in shootouts so we have to start finding a way
to win the game in regulation," said Fisher. "I thought we played really
strong as a team in the third period, just couldn't get any through."
Nashville was without Patric Hornqvist due to a lower-body injury.
The Wild will be looking to bounce back tonight after having a four-game win
streak snapped with Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Charlie
Coyle scored twice to erase a two-goal deficit, but the Avs went back in front
for good with 7:16 left in the game.
Coyle's two goals came 40 seconds apart in the second period and Dany Heatley
assisted on both. Niklas Backstrom made just 14 saves on 17 shots faced in
"We battled back, we got in the game and I thought we came out well in the
third (period) too," said Wild head coach Mike Yeo. "We weren't giving up
much, but we've got to find a way to grab the lead there."
The Wild and Predators have split two meetings this season, with each club
winning at home. Minnesota has won eight of the past 12 overall, but has lost
six of seven and eight of its previous 11 in Nashville.
Backstrom, who had won three straight starts, is 9-5-1 with a 2.66 goals
against average in 16 career games versus the Predators, including 14 starts.
Darcy Kuemper, serving as the backup with Josh Harding out due to illness, has
never faced Nashville.
Neither Mazanec or Carter Hutton have ever faced the Wild. Nashville's No. 1
goaltender Pekka Rinne remains out with a hip injury.
01/12 10:42:39 ET