WILD (0-0-2) at PREDATORS (0-2-0)
TV: FS-N, FS-WI, FS-TN
Season series: This is the first of five meetings between these new Central Division opponents. The Wild took two of three from the Predators last season, though these teams always seem to play each other tight. Six of the last seven meetings have been decided by a single goal.
Big story: A couple of teams with high expectations are still working out the kinks two games into the 2013-14 season. The Wild took their first two contests to overtime, but couldn’t put the finishing touches on either of them. The Predators, with two regulation road losses in tow, return to Bridgestone Arena looking to nail down some points over a five-game homestand.
Wild: The Wild outshot their first two opponents, Los Angeles and Anaheim, by a 62-48 margin, but as of yet have been unable to put one in the win column. In a 4-3 overtime loss to the Ducks on Saturday, the Wild fought back from a 3-1 deficit with goals from line mates Jason Pominville and Zach Parise. After not factoring into the scoring in the opener against Los Angeles, Parise scored twice on six shots Saturday night. Still, the Minnesota native would have preferred the full points.
"We should have had more. We had some chances that we needed to get a couple more," Parise said. "We expect ourselves to do that and we have to do that."
The Wild lost Charlie Coyle midway through the second period of that game, after the second-year center collided with Andrew Cogliano. Minnesota announced Sunday that Coyle would miss 3-4 weeks with a knee sprain. Jason Zucker was called up from the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League.
Predators: As Pekka Rinne goes, so go the Nashville Predators. The two-time Vezina Trophy finalist struggled in the opener against rival St. Louis, conceding three goals on six shots before being pulled. Nashville wound up losing 4-2. Rinne was much improved Friday against the Colorado Avalanche, saving 33 of 35 shots – including a few highlight-reel efforts – and the Predators fought to the end, the 3-1 score line the result an empty-netter from PA Parenteau.
"You play to win the game, so it's too bad we couldn't get the result," Rinne said. "A little bit of disappointment. Personally I felt good and I'm happy to be back out there and everything's feeling good. It's good to test your body and test your head.
"It's not fun losing games. It's not the effort. I think we battled hard, we had a lot of penalty kills and the penalty kill did a good job. It's the little things, like the first goal in the first period, a little letdown and, boom, it's in the net. Every single minute matters."
Who’s hot: Parise has two goals, including a power-play tally. … For Nashville, Mike Fisher has a goal and an assist.
Injury report: In addition to Coyle, Wild forward Michael Rupp is out indefinitely with a knee injury. … For Nashville, center Filip Forsberg (lower body) is questionable and defenseman Roman Josi is doubtful with a concussion. Left wing Viktor Stalberg (shoulder) is expected back later this month.
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