Minnesota Wild 34-35-10
Nashville Predators 45-26-8
Rinne has an 8-3-1 record against the Wild.
On Tuesday, the Nashville Predators host the Minnesota Wild at Bridgestone Arena. In the last three games, all victories, the Wild have scored 12 goals. The Predators will be looking to limit the goals against on Tuesday night.
“We can’t win if we let in 5 goals. The good thing was we almost came back [on Saturday]. That was a good thing,” Predators forward Patric Hornqvist said on Monday morning after practice.
Lately, it seems that the Predators either allow only one goal against or a flurry of goals in losing causes. Against Pittsburgh on March 22nd, Nashville allowed five goals against but turned it around at home two nights later when they beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-1. Nashville went on to beat Chicago the following day by a 6-1 score but then lost two days later, March 27th, being shut out by St. Louis 3-0. The trend continued up to and including Saturday night’s 5-4 defeat against Chicago.
The Predators dug themselves a relatively early 4-0 deficit against the Blackhawks, but were able to tie the game 4-4 by the middle of the third period before losing 5-4 in regulation.
The team took away some positives from the resiliency they showed in at least tying the game.
“It is good that the guys never gave up. We showed a lot of effort. We came back from 4-0 and tied it up. Not a lot of teams can do that, but we still lost the game. That’s the bottom line,” Predators forward Alexander Radulov said after practice on Monday morning.
The Wild are familiar with Nashville’s ability to come from behind when behind in games. The teams last met on January 31st. The Wild scored twice in the first period and picked up another tally early in the second period for a 3-0 lead. Matt Halischuk got the Predators on the board with a goal before the end of the middle frame, but Minnesota scored again early in the third period for their second three-goal lead of the game. Always resilient, the Predators scored four unanswered goals in the final 11 minutes of the third period to win the game 5-4 in regulation. Brandon Yip and Hornqvist each scored once for Nashville while Mike Fisher added two goals, including the game-tying goal as well as the game winner.
As the team looks to put Saturday’s loss behind them, they will face a Wild team that has won three games in a row against teams all looking to improve their playoff seeding, including Florida, Los Angeles and Chicago.
A team that once led the entire NHL earlier in the season, injuries have harmed Minnesota and the Wild now find themselves in 12th position in the Western Conference standings and eliminated from playoff contention.
Some of the more notable injuries currently plaguing the Wild include Guillaume Latendresse who has been out of the lineup before the turn of the calendar with post-concussion symptoms. Matt Kassian has been out of the lineup since the middle of March with a strained groin, and Matt Cullen had surgery on his right index finger, forcing him out if the lineup for the final two weeks of the season.
Nashville holds the 2-1 advantage in the season series against Minnesota. Predators netminder Pekka Rinne has an 8-3-1 record against the Wild, including three shutouts.
The Predators wrap up the regular season this week by hosting the Wild on Tuesday, the Dallas Stars on Thursday and then travel to Colorado for their final game of the regular season against the Avalanche Saturday night.