A three-game homestand concludes tonight at Bridgestone Arena when the Nashville Predators host the Minnesota Wild for the second time this month. The Preds opened the season against their Central Division brethren, and the two will face each other three more times this season, all within the final five weeks of the campaign.
Nashville snapped a two-game winless skid on Tuesday night when they topped the Anaheim Ducks, 6-1. It was one of the most impressive outings of the young season for the Predators, and it's an effort they'd like to build on tonight as they reach the 10-game mark, especially in front of their goaltender.
"I still think there were some moments in the game where they had the advantage and were winning some battles and [Pekka Rinne] had to bail us out," Preds forward Rocco Grimaldi said following the win over Anaheim. "If we can just continue to limit some of those chances and not make Peks make those saves, I think it'll be better for us."
Ryan Ellis and Kyle Turris extended their point streaks to five and four games, respectively, on Tuesday as each picked up an assist in the win.
The Predators held an optional practice on Wednesday; forward Filip Forsberg did not participate and remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
Video: Rinne stops 26 of 27 in 6-1 victory against Ducks
Last Time Out:
Viktor Arvidsson scored twice in the third period on Tuesday night in Nashville's rout over Anaheim. The pair of tallies give Arvidsson five goals on the season, good enough to tie with Forsberg for the team lead in the category. Roman Josi, Colton Sissons, Mattias Ekholm and Grimaldi also scored in the victory, and Ekholm's goal came while shorthanded.
Ellis leads the Preds with 11 assists and 12 points in nine games. Matt Duchene has 11 points, Josi has nine and Arvidsson has eight. Josi has four goals on the season; Turris, Ekholm, Sissons and Nick Bonino have three goals each.
Video: Colton Sissons and Pekka Rinne talk 10-game mark.
It was a tough start to the season for Minnesota (3-6-0), but they've won their last two contests, including a 3-0 shutout against Edmonton on Tuesday. However, goaltender Devan Dubnyk was injured in the win and will not travel to Nashville, the team announced Wednesday.
Former Preds defenseman Brad Hunt leads Minnesota in scoring with four goals and six points. Eric Staal, Ryan Suter and Jordan Greenway all have five points apiece, and Jason Zucker and Zach Parise have three goals each. With Dubnyk out, the Preds are likely to face Alex Stalock who is 1-1-0 with a .942 save percentage.
The Predators are 38-25-(5)-8 all-time against the Wild, including a 23-9-(2)-4 record at Bridgestone Arena, and Nashville is on a six-game win streak versus the Wild.
At home, Nashville has won five consecutive games over Minnesota, holding them to a goal-or-fewer in three of those contests.
Video: Coach Laviolette talks Nick Bonino, D-pairs
Notables Versus Minnesota:
Craig Smith tallied four points (2g-2a) - a career high - on April 13, 2014, at Minnesota. He recorded a career-high 11 shots on goal on Dec. 29, 2017, in Minnesota. Ryan Johansen has 19 points (5g-14a) in 27 career games versus the Wild, including nine points (3g-6a) in his last 10 meetings.
Pekka Rinne has shut out the Wild four times in his career, tied for the second-most he's recorded against an NHL team (with St. Louis, Dallas and Edmonton) behind Arizona (6). Matt Duchene has recorded 24 points (7g-17a) in 44 career games against the Wild.
When You Go:
Arena doors open at 5:30 p.m. CT ahead of tonight's 7 p.m. puck drop. It's the first Fan Foodie Night of the season of the season at Bridgestone Arena with 50 percent off of all food and soft drinks for everyone in attendance.
To further celebrate the fans, the Preds are hosting Educators Appreciation Night this evening. For those who are committed to the development of Nashville's youth, the purchase of a ticket package will also include a Preds tote bag. Click here for more information.
For $10, purchase your 'I FIGHT FOR' lavender foam puck in honor, or in memory of someone fighting cancer. You will receive a puck to take home and one to add to our Hockey Fights Cancer bin - which represents all those we're fighting for in Smashville. Proceeds benefit the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Twice Daily. Stop by the Foundation area (outside 106/107) to pick yours up tonight.
Please note the updated Bridgestone Arena bag policy for the Predators' 2019-20 season:
The fastest way to enter Bridgestone Arena is to not bring a bag at all. However, clear, clutch or no bags grant guests access to our Express Lanes. Bags that are made of solid material that fit within the 12-inch-by-12-inch-by-6-inch size requirement will be placed through an X-ray scanner upon entry. Backpacks and large bags are prohibited from Bridgestone Arena. All clear bags must be completely clear and may not have any color tinting, printed designs or panels of fabric. All items brought are subject to a security search. Diaper bags that fit within the guidelines of the approved bags will be permitted.
To enhance the Nashville Predators game day experience, Bridgestone Arena has implemented Ticketmaster SafeTix, a new technology designed to provide the best possible entry experience and cut down on the number of fraudulent tickets in the marketplace. Using encrypted, rotating barcodes, SafeTix prevents fraud and ticket scalping through screenshotting and/or photocopying barcodes. Screenshots will no longer be valid for entry to Predators home games. The Predators also encourage all fans to be aware of the new "Clutch, Clear or No Bag" policy and to utilize Express Entry Lanes for expedited entry.
Watch and Listen:
Coverage for tonight's contest begins with Smashville Live on Fox Sports Tennessee at 6:30 p.m. with Lyndsay Rowley and Terry Crisp. Willy Daunic, Chris Mason and Kara Hammer have the call on the television side, while Pete Weber and Hal Gill will broadcast on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network. Pregame coverage on the radio side begins at 6 p.m. CT with Darren McFarland. For broadcast information and channel locations throughout the country, click here.
If the Predators are playing hockey, you can count on the game being on at Preds Approved Bars & Restaurants. Locations throughout Tennessee may be seen by clicking here.
Listen to a Live Radio Feed (only active during the game broadcast window).
Watch a Live Stream of the game on the Fox Sports Go App or Watch on NHL.TV