GAME: Nashville Predators (20-16-4-2) at Minnesota Wild (15-17-11-0).
TIME: Monday, 8 p.m. EST.
Marian Gaborik goes into another matchup with the Nashville Predators
looking to break a goal-scoring drought as the Minnesota Wild continue a
Gaborik led Minnesota to the Western Conference finals last season, scoring
30 goals to match his own team record set in 2001-02. A contract dispute
resulted in Gaborik not joining the Wild until the first week of November this
season, and the team continues to struggle despite his return.
Minnesota is two games under .500 and Gaborik has totaled just five goals
and seven assists in 31 games. The 21-year-old winger has gone seven straight
outings without scoring.
"When he works, he gets chances. That's it," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire
told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "I don't care who is playing on the other
side. He works, he's going to get chances. It's that simple."
Gaborik had a nine-game goal drought going into Minnesota's first meeting of
the season with Nashville on Dec. 23, but scored 27 seconds into the second
period to help the Wild emerge with a 3-3 tie. He has five goals and 11 points
in 13 career games against the Predators.
Minnesota is coming off Friday's 2-0 loss to Brian Boucher and the Phoenix
Coyotes, falling to 1-3-5 in its last nine games.
The Wild, 1-for-30 on the power play in the last 10 contests, close their
homestand with games against Los Angeles on Wednesday and Pittsburgh on Friday.
The Predators have given up 13 goals in losing their last three road games,
but are coming off back-to-back home wins.
They beat Colorado 4-3 in overtime on Thursday before defeating St. Louis
3-1 on Saturday.
Jordin Tootoo was the unlikely star of Nashville's latest victory, notching
the first multipoint game of his career with a power-play goal and an assist.
Tootoo, the first Inuit to play in the NHL, had gone pointless since Oct. 23.
"When we needed some energy, he provided it," Predators coach Barry Trotz
said. "He got the Gordie Howe hat trick: a fight, a goal and an assist."