Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 12/28/11
The Minnesota Wild will be without their best defenseman when they play at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Wednesday night as Jared Spurgeon is out with a lower body injury. However the news is not all bad as head coach Mike Yeo explained after morning skate in Nashville, "We are relieved to report that Jared's injury is not as bad as we first anticipated as the X-rays were negative and he should be in a day-to-day situation." Yeo was asked about the fact that Colorado Avalanche forward Cody McLeod received no punishment from the NHL for his hit on Spurgeon. "I was surprised and very disappointed with the fact that there was no suspension." Yeo continued with, "Jared is our own version of Nik Lidstrom or Shea Weber and it was clear that Colorado was targeting him right from the drop of the puck." Spurgeon leads all Wild defensemen with 15 points, is second with 53 blocked shots and is third on the team with an ice time average of 21:01 per game. Yeo knows Spurgeon's absence will hurt the Wild's attack. "We will need everyone to ramp up their game with Jared being out but we have the type of players back there with the talent to get the job done." On the Nashville side, there is another key injury that will impact the line-up as All-Star defenseman Shea Weber is out with a concussion. Weber leads the entire Nashville roster with 29 points and he is one of only three current players on the roster that is on the plus side of the ledger, at an impressive plus-14 which ranks him 14th in the league. The Predators will miss Weber on the power-play as they enter this game with the Wild as the 2nd best in the NHL clicking at 21.6 percent rate. The Predators went 4 for their last 8 on the power play with Weber in the line-up but fell to 0 for 5 on their last time out against Detroit without Weber on the ice. Mike Yeo stated that Josh Harding (7-3-1 2.13 GAA and a .932 save percentage) will get the call in goal tonight for Minnesota. Harding is 4-4 in his career against Nashville with a 2.88 GAA and a .909 save percentage. The Wild have scored just 9 goals in their last 7 games while posting a 0-5-2 record and it doesn't figure to get easier scoring goals Wednesday night in Nashville against goaltender Pekka Rinne. In four career home starts against Minnesota, Rinne is a perfect 4-0 with a tiny 0.25 GAA and an amazing .989 save percentage.
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