Originally written on Inside Smashville  |  Last updated 11/16/14

The Nashville Predators edged the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in a shootout in front of a sold out crowd at Bridgestone Arena. The game was the 7th consecutive sellout and the 24th of the season. The Wild had won three straight games all against teams that are trying to improve their playoff seeding.

With the win, Nashville regains fourth spot in the Western Conference standings with 100 points, one point ahead of Detroit. The Red Wings, however, have one in game in hand over Nashville. Detroit plays the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday while the Predators are idle.

After a scoreless first period, the Predators and Wild exchanged goals in the middle frame. Gabriel Bourque picked up his seventh goal of the season at 12:31 into the second period when his wrist shot beat Niklas Backstrom on a pass from across the crease by Nick Spaling who stole the puck from Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner.

Bourque has posted seven points in his last nine contests, including 4 goals and 3 assists. On the season, the winger has 7 goals and 11 assists in 41 games.

Finding chemistry on the ice with Spaling has not been a problem for Bourque who says he and Spaling are becoming better familiarized with each other as of late.

“We both play really hard, and we play the same way. We’ve played some games together so we have started to know each other. The goal was a great forecheck by Spaling and it was a nice pass. I had a wide open net. You can’t ask for better than that,” Bourque said.

Patric Hornqvist completed the line.

“They make it real easy,” Spaling said. “They’re two energy guys that I know that they’re going to be at the net or trying to win the puck back in the corner. It makes it easy for me knowing where they are the whole time.”

Predators head coach Barry Trotz thought that the Spaling line was Nashville’s best line of the night.

“When Nick Spaling is playing that hard, in your face game, and you add a Gabriel Bourque, everybody knows how hard [Hornqvist] is, as a line, they can really make it tough on you. That’s a really good line in terms of coming at you. They’re not going to back off anybody. When they’re all in playing that way, it’s a good thing. They were our best line tonight,” he said.

After playing his first game on December 28th against the Wild, Bourque has only been scratched three times. Having played in 41 contests, Bourque’s position in the lineup is all but secured. Now that Bourque has beat out other regular members of the Nashville lineup, he has no intention of giving the spot back.

“The first game here I was nervous,” Bourque said. “I just wanted to play my first NHL game and do well. Now we are heading into the playoffs and I just want to keep my spot in the lineup and play every game to help the team.”

Minnesota answered a little over 5 minutes later with 2:07 remaining in the period when Dany Heatley picked up his 23rd goal of the season when he deflected Nate Prosser’s shot from the point by Nashville netminder Anders Lindback. In 16 career games against the Predators Heatley has 13 goals and 10 assists for 23 points. This season, Heatley has 5 goals and 1 assist against the Predators in four games.

There were no goals in the third period. Alexander Radulov scored the only goal in the shootout. Lindback stopped shootout attempts from Erik Christensen, Mikko Koivu and Devin Setoguchi to win his first ever regular-season shootout.

Pekka Rinne did not dress on Tuesday night. Josh Cooper from The Tennessean tweeted that the netminder was out sick. Other scratches for Nashville included Jordin Tootoo, Brian McGrattan, Matt Halischuk, Colin Wilson, Jack Hillen, Ryan Ellis and Jack Maclellan.

Nashville wraps up the home portion of the regular season on Thursday night when the Dallas Stars visit the Predators. The regular season ends on Saturday. All 30 teams will be in action. Nashville visits Colorado. The 2012 NHL playoffs begin on April 11th.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kurt Warner is helping to turn around Colin Kaepernick

Bizarre call allows Duke to cover spread against Utah

Saints love TE Josh Hill following Jimmy Graham trade

Darren Sproles' role is growing for the Eagles

Barkley, Reggie Miller condemn Indiana religious freedom bill

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Rick Barnes not expected back at Texas

Metta World Peace interested in coaching at St John's

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

The Rams are still planning on drafting a quarterback

Winnipeg Jets prospect had a rough night on the ice

Russell Wilson to suit up for Texas Rangers Saturday

Did Dean Smith’s gifts to former players violate NCAA rules?

WWE unveils Ultimate Warrior statue

WATCH: Tom Brady jumps off tall cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Support for relocation growing among NFL powers

Mother says special needs son forced to remove varsity letter

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Minnesota Timberwolves: Should they tank?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rick Barnes not returning to Texas?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.