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At the Rink: Wild at Predators

by Robby Stanley

NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators will try to find more offense when they host the Minnesota Wild at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, FS-TN).

The Predators (15-11-6) have scored two goals or fewer in 10 of the past 15 games; they're 4-8-3 in that span.

"It's no secret we need to score some more goals," Predators forward Colin Wilson said. "I think we're addressing that. We have the personnel in here to do it. I think we're going to start putting pressure on ourselves. I know I am. I have to pick it up."

Wilson returned to the lineup Thursday after against the St. Louis Blues after missing four games because of a lower-body injury. He has one goal in 27 games after scoring 20 last season. Wilson will return to a top-six forward role against Minnesota (17-7-6) to try and spark his offensive production.

"He was coming off of a layoff where we weren't sure exactly where he was," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "We just wanted to get him some ice time. He made it through the game [against St. Louis] and he feels good so we move him up and try to find some more goals."

The Wild have won three straight and have points in nine in a row (6-0-3). They have 13 goals during their winning streak and should provide a tough test to a Predators defense that has allowed four goals the past two games.

"They're a heavy team in the West, in our division," Wilson said. "You've got to win your battles and limit your turnovers. That's typically the way it is in the West. You've got to get it in, get on the forecheck and put pucks at the net."

Here are the projected lineups:


Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Thomas Vanek - Mikko Koivu - Jason Zucker

Nino Niederreiter - Charlie Coyle - Justin Fontaine

Chris Porter - Jarret Stoll - Ryan Carter

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin - Marco Scandella

Nate Prosser - Matt Dumba

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Injured: Keith Ballard (concussion), Zac Dalpe (hip)

Scratched: Erik Haula, Niklas Backstrom


Filip Forsberg - Mike Ribeiro - Craig Smith

Colin Wilson - Calle Jarnkrok - James Neal

Viktor Arvidsson - Colton Sissons - Cody Hodgson

Eric Nystrom - Paul Gaustad - Miikka Salomaki

Roman Josi - Shea Weber

Mattias Ekholm - Ryan Ellis

Barret Jackman - Seth Jones

Pekka Rinne

Carter Hutton

Injured: Mike Fisher (lower body), Gabriel Bourque (upper body)

Scratched: Austin Watson, Anthony Bitetto

Status report: Dubnyk is expected to start for the Wild. … Rinne was the first goaltender off the ice at the Predators' morning skate and is expected to start. … Fisher participated in the morning skate but is not expected to play.

Who's hot: Vanek has five points in his past two games and leads the Wild with 11 goals. … Josi leads the Predators with 23 points and has three points in his past five games.

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