Predators look to snap skid vs. improving Wild
Friday, 12.31.2010 / 5:00 PM
Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing EditorPREDATORS (17-13-6) at WILD (17-14-5)
TV -- FS-TN (HD), FS-N (HD)
Last 10 --
Nashville 5-5-0; Minnesota 6-3-1
Season series --
This is the second of four meetings between the teams this season. On Nov. 26, Martin Havlat had a pair of goals and an assist to pace the Wild to a 5-2 victory in Minnesota.
Big Story --
The Wild are playing better, with just three regulation losses in their last 12 games. The Predators, meanwhile, have lost five straight.
With their offense 26th in the League at 2.31 goals per game, GM David Poile got a bit creative Wednesday, claiming Marek Svatos off waivers from the St. Louis Blues. The day before, the Blues had signed Svatos after he started the season in the KHL. The Blues had to pass Svatos through waivers to get him on the roster, and that's when the Predators pounced.
"He has good speed, has a good shot," Poile told the Tennessean. "It's what are the Predators missing now? We're missing goals."
The Predators have scored just five goals in their five losses.
Players admitted to hearing the booing from the home crowd, and on Wednesday, the Wild players gave the home fans something to cheer about -- a 5-3 victory against the San Jose Sharks.
"It's not fun getting booed in your home rink. It's embarrassing," center Kyle Brodziak
, who scored 2 goals in the win, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "Guys have a lot of pride. And believe me, we definitely deserved it. But tonight was a big step forward for us. We started getting some of the cheers back. And you can see -- when we're going, the fans start going, and we feed off of it even more."
Who's Hot --
Predators forward Colin Wilson
had his first 2-goal game of the season Tuesday, and could see more success against the Wild -- in three games against them, he has a goal and 2 assists. … Wild defenseman Brent Burns had a goal and an assist in Tuesday's win against the Sharks, and his 11 goals are tied for second in the League among defensemen.
Injury Report --
The Predators are without forwards Martin Erat
(upper-body injury), David Legwand
(lower-body injury) and Steve Sullivan (lower-body injury). … Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky
is likely to miss some time after injuring his shoulder Wednesday against the Sharks.
Stat Pack --
The Wild are 22nd in the League with 91 goals, but tied for sixth with 30 power-play goals.
Puck Drop -- Guillaume Latendresse
is positive he'll still have a major impact on the Wild this season. Latendresse hasn't played since Oct. 25, and in late November had a pair of surgeries, to repair a torn labrum in his left hip and to repair a bilateral sports hernia.
Doctors told Latendresse he would have a four-month rehabilitation, but the forward said he plans on speeding up that timetable.
"It's getting better," he told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "The positive thing is we see improvement every day. That's easier to go through when you see improvements."