Nashville Predators: Looking For A Division Road Win Vs The Wild


The Nashville Predators head out to Minnesota tonight to take on the Wild. The Predators are searching for another Central Division win.

The Predators got a good division win on Wednesday night against the St. Louis Blues on the road. Pekka Rinne played a much better game against the Blues, only allowing one goal. Calle Jarnkrok continued his goal streak, and the Fiala-Turris-Smith line continued their great play as Smith scored a goal against the Blues Wednesday night. The Predators are looking to close the year out with two more division wins with two matchups against the Minnesota Wild in consecutive nights.

The Predators right now are 1st in the Central Division with 49 points and a record of 22-9-5. They are 2nd in the Western Conference, just behind a red-hot Vegas Golden Knights team.

Minnesota Wild

The Wild have been a tough team to judge so far this season. They have continued to be streaky, and are 2-3 in their last five games. They have a record of 19-15-3 on the year. The Predators last faced the Wild on the road over a month ago. The Predators should’ve won that game, as they had a three-goal lead, but ended up blowing it in a 6-4 loss.

A few players for the Wild stand out. Eric Staal has stood out for the Wild so far this season as he leads the team with 32 points. Staal has a team-high 15 goals, and 17 assists. Jason Zucker (27 points), Mikael Granlund (24 points) and Ryan Suter (23 points) have also played well for the Wild so far this season.

Devan Dubnyk will be in-goal for the Wild tonight as he is back after missing a few games because of injury. Dubnyk has a record of 12-8-2 on the year.

Lineup Changes

It looks like Pekka Rinne will be in-goal tonight for the Predators. With Dubnyk and Rinne in-goal tonight, tomorrow night’s matchup in Nashville will likely be a matchup between the backup goalies.

Colton Sissons will make his way into the first line tonight, as he is paired with Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson. The 2nd and 3rd line will stay the same from last game. Miikka Salomaki makes his way into the 4th line tonight with Nick Bonino and Austin Watson. 

With 2018 approaching, the return of Ryan Ellis is imminent. The question for many Predators fans is who Ellis might replace in the lineup. I personally think that Cody McLeod will be the one replaced in the lineup, but wouldn’t be surprised if Salomaki is replaced.

What to Expect

I expect tonight to be a tough matchup against two Central Division opponents. The Predators came out of St. Louis with a great win and hopefully will bring that momentum and aggressiveness tonight on the road against the Wild. With Dubnyk in-goal tonight for the Wild, I expect for the Predators to throw shots at the goal early to welcome him back from his injury. Tonight, as well as tomorrow night, will be great chances for the Predators to pick up two division wins.

Next: Five Thoughts For Friday, December 29th

Follow the Game

The puck will drop tonight around 7:00 PM, and will be televised on NBCSN. 102.5 The Game will also be airing the game.