Skip to Main Content
The Official Site of the Minnesota Wild

Wild Warmup: Minnesota at Nashville

Wild aims for its third-straight victory Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /
The essentials

Who: Minnesota Wild (3-6-0) at Nashville Predators (5-3-1)

Puck drop: 7:08 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North, FOX Sports App

Listen: KOOL108 FM 107.9, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwild; @mnwildscribe; GameCenter

The Wild Warmup is presented by Bryant Heating and Cooling

NASHVILLE -- If three games constitutes and official streak, then its the Wild which will try and put together its first winning streak of the season on Thursday night when it plays the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

It's the second time in three weeks these two teams will play in The Music City after an Opening Night affair on Oct. 3 that saw Nashville rally with four goals in the third period in a 5-2 victory. 

Minnesota overcame a slow start in that one and scored a pair of goals in a 43-second span late in the second before the wheels fell off in the third.

In winning consecutive games for the first time this season, the Wild has played two of its better opening periods of the season, outshooting Montreal 19-7 and outscoring the Canadiens 1-0 in an eventual 4-3 win on Sunday.

Last time out, the Wild scored three goals in the first period en route to a 3-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers, who entered the game with the best record in the NHL. 

There's no doubt the Wild's game has started to round into form over the past six periods, but the stiffest test of that stretch will come Thursday in Nashville, where Minnesota hasn't won since March 24, 2018. 

Including the season opener earlier this month, the Wild has lost six-straight contests at Bridgestone Arena.

On the bright side for the Wild, four of those six games have all been decided by one goal, with three of those extending into a shootout.

If Minnesota is to break that hex, it will have to overcome a series of injuries to do so.

Goaltender Devan Dubnyk did not make the trip after sustaining an injury early in the second period against the Oilers. He landed hard on the ice after attempting to jump over two players that slid into his crease. He left that game and did not return.

Video: EDM@MIN: Dubnyk leaves game after collision in net

Alex Stalock will start Thursday and will be backed up by Kaapo Kahkonen, who was recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.

To make room on the roster for Kahkonen, the Wild placed forward Kevin Fiala on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. He did not play against Edmonton and will miss at least the next two games before he is eligible to come off of IR. 

Forward Jordan Greenway, who left the game against the Oilers in the first period and did not return, flew with the team to Nashville. The Wild did not practice on Wednesday, so his status for the game is unknown. Victor Rask, who has missed the past two games, also made the trip.

Minnesota will be without Joel Eriksson Ek, who remains out with a lower-body injury. 

The Wild did get some good news on the injury front before the win against the Oilers, getting forward Mats Zuccarello back in the lineup. Zuccarello had missed four games with a lower-body injury and assisted on the eventual game-winning goal for his first point in a Wild sweater.

Nashville has been dealing with its own injury drama, as forward Filip Forsberg has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury. Forsberg had 28 goals and 50 points in just 64 games last year and was off to a hot start this season, scoring five goals and eight points in six games. 

Forsberg is questionable for the game against the Wild, with his status likely to be updated following Nashville's morning skate on Thursday.

Defenseman Ryan Ellis leads the Preds with 12 points in nine games, with 11 of those points coming as assists. Forward Matt Duchene has two goals and 11 points. 

Both Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson lead the team with five goals. 

In goal, Pekka Rinne has started six of Nashville's nine contests so far, posting a 5-0-1 record to go with a 2.31 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage.

View More