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Predators-Wild Preview @NHL
Predators-Wild Preview

GAME: Nashville Predators (12-2-3) at Minnesota Wild (8-9-2).

TIME: Saturday, 8 p.m. EST.

The Nashville Predators look to extend their winning streak to five games, while the Minnesota Wild try to avoid a season-high fourth straight loss when the teams meet for the first time this season.

The Predators have been winning because of their power play, with eight of their last 11 goals coming with the man advantage.

Nashville had two power-play goals in a 3-2 win over Los Angeles on Tuesday, including one by Adam Hall midway through the third period that was the game-winner.

"We simplified the power play," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We had about 30 plays we had designed, but we weren't mastering any of them, so we went back to the basics."

Steve Sullivan, who leads the Predators with eight goals, may not play against the Wild because of a groin injury. He had a hat trick and two power-play goals in a 5-3 win over Dallas on Nov. 10.

Defenseman Kimmo Timonen has three goals and five assists during the Predators' four-game winning streak.

Nashville will look to continue its prowess on the power play against a Wild team that is first in the NHL in penalty killing. Minnesota has allowed only 11 goals in 112 short-handed situations.

The Wild, though, continue to struggle offensively. They've been a low-scoring team since entering the NHL in 2000, but began this season by scoring six goals in three of their first seven games.

Minnesota, however, hasn't scored more than three goals in 12 games since a 6-1 win over San Jose on Oct. 19. While the Wild have posted the league's third-best goals-against average during that span, the team is 4-7-1.

The Wild held a 2-0 lead over Calgary after two periods Monday night, but gave up three in the third in a 3-2 loss.

"I don't know what happened there in the third period," Wild goalie Dwayne Roloson said. "We got into a little bit of penalty trouble and they ended up scoring some goals on the power play."

Minnesota has been shut out in its last two meetings with Nashville.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 18): Predators - 27 points, 2nd place, 5 PB, Central Division. Wild - 18 points, 5th place, 8 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Predators - Sullivan, 8 goals; Paul Kariya, 12 assists and 18 points; Jeremy Stevenson, 50 PIM. Wild - Brian Rolston, 8 goals; Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Alexandre Daigle, 10 assists; Bouchard, 15 points; Derek Boogaard, 39 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 18): Predators - Power play: 18.8 percent (20 for 106), 13th in NHL. Penalty killing: 86 percent (99 for 115), 3rd. Wild - Power play: 19 percent (19 for 100), 12th. Penalty killing: 90.1 percent (101 for 112), 1st.

GOALTENDERS: Predators - Tomas Vokoun (11-2-2, 2.44 GAA); Chris Mason (1-0-1, 3.31). Wild - Manny Fernandez (5-3-1, 1.94); Roloson (3-6-1, 1 SO, 2.46).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Predators, 2-0-2-0.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 26, 2004; Predators, 4-0. At Nashville, Tenn., Sullivan scored a power-play goal and Vokoun stopped 27 shots for the Predators.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Predators - 3-1-3 on the road; Wild - 5-3-0 at home.

Associated Press
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