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Wild Warmup: Minnesota at Nashville

Rematch with division-leading Predators on tap for Wild on Tuesday in Nashville

by Dan Myers @DanMyers / Wild.com
The essentials

Who: Minnesota Wild (42-24-9, 93 points, third in Central) at Nashville Predators (48-16-11, 107 points, first in Cental)

Puck drop: 7:08 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North, FOX Sports GO

Listen: KFAN FM 100.3, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwild; GameCenter


The opponent

Sitting five points clear of the Winnipeg Jets for the top spot in the Central Division standings, the Nashville Predators have lost three consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 19-23. 

The meeting Tuesday is the final one of five games between Minnesota and Nashville this season. The Wild has won three of the first four games, with all three victories coming at Xcel Energy Center. The Predators won 3-0 on Dec. 30 in the only game in Nashville, getting third-period goals from Scott Hartnell, P.K. Subban and Viktor Arvidsson. 

Minnesota won the most recent matchup, scoring a 4-1 victory in St. Paul on Saturday. Ryan Johansen gave Nashville a 1-0 lead after one, but the Wild scored twice in the second and twice more in the third. Jason Zucker had one goal and one assist in the contest.

Arvidsson leads the Predators with 28 goals and 58 points. Filip Forsberg has 21 goals and 55 points, while Subban has 15 goals and 54 points. Nashville has seven players with at least 40 points this season.

In goal, Pekka Rinne is 40-11-4 with a 2.27 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage. He made 26 saves in the loss to the Wild on Saturday.


Connections

• Wild forward Matt Cullen registered 64 points (17-47=64) in 139 games with the Predators in two seasons (2013-15).

• Wild defenseman Ryan Suter was selected seventh overall by Nashville in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and scored 238 points (38-200=238) and 396 penalty minutes in 542 games before signing with the Wild as a free agent (7/4/12). Suter ranks third on Nashville's all-time list in plus-minus rating (plus-43), fifth in assists and games played and tied for 11th in points.

• Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk went 0-1-1 with a 4.35 goals-against average and a .850 save percentage in two starts with Nashville (2013-14).


Playoff push

The Wild enters the day entrenched in the third position in the Central Division standings, three points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche and four up on the St. Louis Blues.

The Avs and Los Angeles Kings are currently the two wild card teams in the Western Conference. With a 3-0 victory over Calgary on Monday night, the Kings leap-frogged Colorado -- which lost 4-1 at Vegas -- for the first wild card spot.

St. Louis enters Tuesday one point behind Colorado in a race that continues to tighten down the stretch.

Road warriors

The Wild has won two straight road games and is 7-3-0 on the road in its past 10 away contests since Feb. 6. The Wild has scored at least three goals in eight of those 10 games and at least four goals in five of those contests.


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