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Predators at Wild preview

Nashville can defeat Minnesota for eighth straight time, gain upper-hand in Western wild-card chase

by Jessi Pierce / Independent Correspondent

PREDATORS (32-25-8) at WILD (32-26-7) 

8 p.m. ET; FS-WI, FS-N+, FS-TN, NHL.TV


The Game

The Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild each look to climb in the Western Conference wild-card race when they meet at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

The Predators, who have lost two straight after going 6-1-1 in their previous eight games, are tied with the Winnipeg Jets and Arizona Coyotes for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the West. Nashville is two points behind the Vancouver Canucks, who have the first wild card, and one point ahead of the Wild, who are 5-2-0 in their past seven games and 12-6-1 in their past 19.

Nashville is trying for its eight straight win against Minnesota; the Wild (0-4-3 in those games), who have not been in a playoff position since Dec. 6, have not defeated the Predators since March 24, 2018.

Goalie Alex Stalock will make his fifth consecutive start for Minnesota; he's 7-2-1 with 1.99 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and two shutouts in his past 10 starts but is 0-5-1 with a 3.00 GAA and .906 save percentage in six career games against the Predators.


Players to watch

Predators defenseman Roman Josi has four points (two goals, two assists) during a three-game point streak. 

Wild forward Kevin Fiala has nine points (four goals, five assists) during a four-game point streak, and has a goal in four straight games.


They said it

"We [have to] be mad. We [have to] wake up mad tomorrow. … It's a huge game tomorrow … We [have to] wake up, be angry and get a win." -- Predators defenseman Roman Josi after an 8-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers at Bridgestone Arena on Monday

"These games are a ton of fun. To leapfrog a team and put yourself in contention is a great opportunity and I know the guys in here are looking forward to it." -- Wild goalie Alex Stalock


Predators projected lineup

Colin Blackwell -- Ryan Johansen -- Colton Sissons

Calle Jarnkrok -- Matt Duchene -- Viktor Arvidsson

Filip Forsberg -- Kyle Turris -- Mikael Granlund

Rocco Grimaldi -- Nick Bonino -- Craig Smith

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Jarred Tinordi -- Mattias Ekholm

Dan Hamhuis -- Dante Fabbro

Juuse Saros

Pekka Rinne

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Austin Watson, Yannick Weber

Injured: None


Wild projected lineup

Jordan Greenway -- Eric Staal -- Kevin Fiala

Marcus Foligno -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Mats Zuccarello

Zach Parise -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Luke Kunin

Ryan Donato -- Mikko Koivu -- Ryan Hartman

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Brad Hunt -- Greg Pateryn

Alex Stalock

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: Victor Rask, Gerald Mayhew

Injured: Carson Soucy (upper body)


Status report

The Predators did not have a morning skate Tuesday. … Kunin returns after missing the past five games with an upper-body injury.


Stat pack

Saros, who made four saves in relief Monday, is 8-3-0 with a 2.44 GAA, .927 save percentage and one shutout in his past 13 games (11 starts). … Parise has five points (two goals, three assists) during a three-game point streak.

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