|71||NASHVILLE||+100||Ov 5,+100||+105||Ov 5,+120|
|72||MINNESOTA||-120||Un 5,-120||-125||Un 5,-140|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||4-3-0||+2.6||4-3||+2.6||1-6||2.1||19.7||2.0||26.3|
|Last 5 Games||4-1-0||+4.4||4-1||+4.4||1-4||2.6||18.4||1.4||28.0|
|Team Stats (All Games)||10||23||11||5||5||2||2||210||11.0%||32||6||18.7%||36|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||7||15||6||2||5||2||2||138||10.9%||22||2||9.1%||20|
|Team Stats (Last 5 Games)||5||13||5||4||2||2||2||92||14.1%||15||2||13.3%||21|
|Stats Against (All Games)|| ||21||7||5||6||3||3||283||7.4%||38||7||18.4%||32|
|Stats Against (Road Games)|| ||14||4||4||5||1||1||184||7.6%||31||5||16.1%||22|
|Stats Against (Last 5 Games)|| ||7||2||2||3||0||0||140||5.0%||23||4||17.4%||12|
|CHRIS MASON (All Games)||1||1||30||29||96.7%||0||1-0||+1.4||1-0-0||+1||0-1|
|CHRIS MASON (Road Games)||1||1||30||29||96.7%||0||1-0||+1.4||1-0-0||+1||0-1|
|CHRIS MASON (Last 4 Games)||1||1||30||29||96.7%||0||1-0||+1.4||1-0-0||+1||0-1|
|PEKKA RINNE (All Games)||9||9||253||236||93.3%||3||4-5||-0.4||4-5-0||0||2-7|
|PEKKA RINNE (Road Games)||6||6||154||142||92.2%||2||3-3||+1.2||3-3-0||+2||1-5|
|PEKKA RINNE (Last 4 Games)||4||4||115||112||97.4%||1||4-0||+5.6||4-0-0||+6||1-3|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||4-2-0||+1.6||4-2||+1.6||1-4||2.2||28.5||2.2||25.0|
|Last 5 Games||2-3-0||-0.8||2-3||-0.8||0-4||1.8||24.6||2.6||27.6|
|Team Stats (All Games)||10||22||6||10||5||1||1||262||8.4%||37||6||16.2%||38|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||6||13||5||4||3||1||1||171||7.6%||23||3||13.0%||23|
|Team Stats (Last 5 Games)||5||9||4||2||2||1||1||123||7.3%||13||1||7.7%||12|
|Stats Against (All Games)|| ||28||8||10||9||1||0||276||10.1%||35||6||17.1%||49|
|Stats Against (Home Games)|| ||13||6||3||4||0||0||150||8.7%||22||3||13.6%||19|
|Stats Against (Last 5 Games)|| ||13||5||5||3||0||0||138||9.4%||15||3||20.0%||22|
|NIKLAS BACKSTROM (All Games)||8||7||215||194||90.2%||0||2-5||-3.6||2-5-0||-4||2-4|
|NIKLAS BACKSTROM (Home Games)||5||4||116||105||90.5%||0||2-2||-0.6||2-2-0||-1||1-2|
|NIKLAS BACKSTROM (Last 4 Games)||4||3||109||100||91.7%||0||0-3||-3||0-3-0||-3||0-2|
|JOSH HARDING (All Games)||4||3||61||54||88.5%||1||2-1||+1.2||2-1-0||+1||1-2|
|JOSH HARDING (Home Games)||3||2||34||32||94.1%||1||2-0||+2.2||2-0-0||+2||0-2|
|JOSH HARDING (Last 4 Games)||4||3||61||54||88.5%||1||2-1||+1.2||2-1-0||+1||1-2|
|Average power rating of opponents played: NASHVILLE 3.21, MINNESOTA 3.28|
|1/19/2013||COLUMBUS||2-3||L||0, -170||L||5.5 un||U|
|1/21/2013||ST LOUIS||3-4||L||0, +105||L||5 ov||O|
|1/22/2013||at MINNESOTA||3-1||W||0, +135||W||5 ov||U|
|1/24/2013||at ST LOUIS||0-3||L||0, +155||L||5 ov||U|
|1/26/2013||at ANAHEIM||2-3||L||0, -120||L||5.5 un||U|
|1/28/2013||at PHOENIX||0-4||L||0, -120||L||5.5 un||U|
|1/31/2013||at LOS ANGELES||2-1||W||0, +135||W||5 un||U|
|2/2/2013||at SAN JOSE||2-1||W||0, +160||W||5 ov||U|
|2/5/2013||at ST LOUIS||6-1||W||0, +170||W||5 un||O|
|2/7/2013||LOS ANGELES||3-0||W||0, -105||W||5 un||U|
|2/9/2013||at MINNESOTA|| |
|2/12/2013||SAN JOSE|| |
|2/18/2013||at COLORADO|| |
|1/19/2013||COLORADO||4-2||W||0, -145||W||5 ov||O|
|1/20/2013||DALLAS||1-0||W||0, -160||W||5 ov||U|
|1/22/2013||NASHVILLE||1-3||L||0, -155||L||5 ov||U|
|1/25/2013||at DETROIT||3-5||L||0, +100||L||5 ov||O|
|1/27/2013||at ST LOUIS||4-5||L||0, +145||L||5 ov||O|
|1/29/2013||COLUMBUS||3-2||W||0, -200||W||5.5 un||U|
|1/30/2013||CHICAGO||3-2||W||0, +115||W||5.5 un||U|
|2/1/2013||at ANAHEIM||1-3||L||0, +105||L||5.5 un||U|
|2/4/2013||at PHOENIX||1-2||L||0, +120||L||5 ov||U|
|2/7/2013||VANCOUVER||1-4||L||0, +105||L||5 un||P|
|2/11/2013||at CALGARY|| |
|2/12/2013||at VANCOUVER|| |
LAST SEASON: 48-26-8, 104 points. Lost to Phoenix 4-1 in Western semifinals.
COACH: Barry Trotz, 14th season, all with Predators, 503-424-60.
ADDED: D Scott Hannan, G Chris Mason. Re-signed forwards Mike Fisher, Sergei Kostitsyn, Colin Wilson and Paul Gaustad to multi-year deals along with D Hal Gill and Kevin Klein.
LOST: D Ryan Suter, F Jordin Tootoo, D Francis Bouillon, F Alex Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn.
PLAYER TO WATCH: D Roman Josi. The Predators will start pairing the 22-year-old defenseman with captain Shea Weber trying to replace Suter, who averaged a team-high 26 minutes and 30 seconds of ice time per game last season. Josi averaged 18:23 with the Predators going 34-15-3 with him in the lineup last season and 14-11-5 without him.
OUTLOOK: With Weber and goalie Pekka Rinne now signed through the next six years, the Predators believe that core and youth has them primed to build on consecutive trips to the Western Conference semifinals and get them to the Stanley Cup.
LAST SEASON: 35-36-11, 81 points.
COACH: Mike Yeo, 2nd season, 35-36-11.
ADDED: LW Zach Parise, D Ryan Suter, C Mikael Granlund, LW Torrey Mitchell, C Zenon Konopka, C Jake Dowell.
LOST: LW Guillaume Latendresse, RW Nick Johnson, LW Warren Peters, RW Jed Ortmeyer, D Mike Lundin, C Erik Christensen, D Kurtis Foster.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Parise and Suter are the headliners, their identical 13-year, $98 million contracts serving as July 4 fireworks over the NHL free agent market, but the Finnish sensation Granlund is being given a spot on the second line before his 21st birthday. The ninth overall pick in the 2010 draft is so popular in his home country that paparazzi follow him around town. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound, slick-with-the-stick scorer spent the lockout playing for the Wild's AHL affiliate. He had 20 goals and 31 assists in 45 games last season for his club in Helsinki.
OUTLOOK: The Wild had the league's best record at 20-7-3 at the 30-game mark but nosedived down the stretch under the weight of myriad injuries. After signing Parise, bringing Granlund over and getting Pierre-Marc Bouchard back from another lengthy concussion absence, the Wild have unquestionably the deepest and most talented group of forwards in the franchise's 13-year history. Staying healthy in a fast-paced condensed season will be critical, of course, but the key to making the playoffs for the first time in five years is on the blue line, where veterans Suter and Tom Gilbert will need help from young players like Jared Spurgeon, Clayton Stoner and Marco Scandella.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER HOCKEY PREVIEW (NASHVILLE-MINNESOTA) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Predators-Wild Preview* ========================
By JON PALMIERI STATS Editor
Nashville (5-2-3) at Minnesota (4-5-1), 8:00 p.m. EDT
The last thing the sputtering Minnesota Wild need right now is to face arguably the league's best defense and perhaps its hottest goaltender.
That, however, is likely what they'll be up against Saturday night when they host the Nashville Predators.
Expectations are sky high for the Wild (4-5-1) after the offseason signings of high-scoring forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter. A season-opening two-game win streak only reinforced those feelings, but the team has won just twice in its last eight contests and scored three goals during a three-game skid.
Minnesota's offense was virtually non-existent again and usually reliable goaltender Niklas Backstrom struggled in Thursday's 4-1 loss to visiting Vancouver. Backstrom gave up two goals in each of the first two periods before he was replaced by Josh Harding.
"It's not fun right now. Things aren't going well," said Suter, who will face his former team for the second time after Minnesota's 3-1 loss Jan. 22.
Defenseman Tom Gilbert scored the Wild's lone goal in the third period Thursday, the team's first on the power play in 13 chances over the last five games.
"Would have been a good chance for us to bounce back after not winning on the road trip, but we didn't show up," said Parise, who had eight of Minnesota's 23 shots. "Pretty simple."
Coach Mike Yeo continued to tinker with his lines, putting rookie Charlie Coyle on the first line with Parise and captain Mikko Koivu. Slumping Dany Heatley was moved to the second unit with Matt Cullen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
"The more you press, the more you squeeze your stick, the cuter you try to get, the more you try to force things, all the things that it takes to score goals, believe it or not you start to hurt yourself," Yeo said.
Heatley has no goals in five games after scoring four in his first five. He does, however, have goals in five straight contests against Nashville (5-2-3), totaling six during that span.
But scoring against the Predators has been very difficult. They have the league's lowest goals-against average (1.81) and have allowed the second-fewest even-strength goals (11).
Pekka Rinne stopped 32 shots and Colin Wilson had two goals to lead Nashville to its fourth straight victory, 3-0 over Los Angeles on Thursday. Gabriel Bourque also tallied for the Predators, who were back home after outscoring opponents 10-3 in the final three contests on a seven-game trip.
"This was a game that I had a lot of concern with," coach Barry Trotz said. "When you go on long road trips, every coach will tell you there is a fear the first game back."
Rinne has stopped 112 of 115 shots in the last four games for a 0.74 GAA. He hasn't surrendered an even-strength goal in over 290 minutes, turning away 94 consecutive non power-play shots.
"The last few games, I think we have been doing a really good job defensively," Rinne said. "For me, it is way easier for me to control my rebounds, and if I leave a rebound laying around, they are always there for me to save my butt."
Rinne is 8-3-1 with 2.20 GAA and three shutouts lifetime against the Wild. Assuming he starts Saturday, this will be his first look at Minnesota this season, as Chris Mason made his only start in the previous meeting.
Last month's win was Nashville's fourth straight versus Minnesota. The Predators have won seven of eight in the series, allowing one goal or fewer in six of those games.
|Last Updated: 12/22/2014 10:16:40 PM EST|