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Wild aim to make it 3-0 against Preds

by Brian Compton

PREDATORS (0-0-2) at WILD (2-0-0)


Season series: This is the first of three matchups between the teams. The Predators took three of four from the Wild in 2011-12, with two of those victories coming via the shootout.

Big story: Minnesota is off to the start it was hoping for after signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the two biggest prizes on the free-agent market last summer.

Team scope:

Predators: Nashville is winless in its first two games of the 2012-13 season, but not all is lost. With back-to-back shootout losses, the Predators have been able to collect points in what is primed to be a heated race to the Stanley Cup Playoffs throughout this 48-game regular season.

"We haven't been beaten in a game," Predators coach Barry Trotz said after Monday’s 4-3 shootout loss to St. Louis at Bridgestone Arena. "We've been beaten in a little bit of a skills competition. At the same time, it's huge, especially the extra points in the League right now. If you can get them in the shootout, let's take them.”

Wild: Minnesota made it back-to-back victories with Sunday’s 1-0 win against the Dallas Stars at Xcel Energy Center. Josh Harding, who is battling multiple sclerosis, stopped all 24 shots he faced to help Parise’s first goal as a member of the Wild stand up as the game-winner.

"I can't thank the team enough for having my back, they made some great plays and played great out there," Harding said. "It was a long time coming. It's been a tough couple months here, but this made it all worth it."

Who’s hot: Preds winger Patric Hornqvist has a goal and three assists and Martin Erat has a goal and two assists for Nashville. … Parise has a goal and two assists in his first two games with Minnesota, while sniper Dany Heatley has a pair of tallies and an assist.

Injury report: Gabriel Bourque is day-to-day for Nashville with a lower-body injury. … Minnesota is expected to be without defensemen Jonas Brodin (upper body) and Marco Scandella (groin) until around the end of the month.

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