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GAMEDAY: Wild at Predators

Saturday, 03.09.2013 / 2:05 PM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

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GAMEDAY: Wild at Predators
Minnesota Wild vs. Nashville Predators

Minnesota Wild (11-9-2: 24 points, 11th in Western Conference, 2nd in Northwest Division) at Nashville Predators (10-9-5: 25 points, T-9th in Western Conference, 4th in Central Division)

Ryan Suter doesn’t expect streamers and balloons at his welcome back party in Nashville. The defenseman is more likely to hear a chorus of boo birds when he returns to Music City tonight for the first time since signing with the Minnesota Wild as a free agent on July 4. The blueliner was selected seventh overall by Nashville in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and played seven seasons with the Predators, accruing 238 points (38-200=238) and 396 PIM in 542 games. He ranks fourth on Nashville’s all-time list in games played and assists, tied for eighth in points, tied for third in power play assists (88) and second in plus-minus (+43).

There might have been a slight adjustment period in Minnesota for the 28-year-old, but he has been a rock lately. Suter scored his first goal of the season Tuesday and is tied for a Wild season-high, five-game point streak (1-5=6), his longest since a six-game streak Dec. 11-22, 2010 (1-7=8). The alternate captain has 10 assists in his last 12 games and leads Minnesota with 14 helpers on the year. He ranks tied for fourth in the NHL in assists amongst defensemen and is tied for eight in points, along with leading the League in ice time (27:27).

Expected to make a return to the Wild lineup tonight is Cal Clutterbuck. The forward was activated from Injured Reserve yesterday after missing the previous six games after taking a low hit from Edmonton’s Taylor Hall on Feb. 21.

Yesterday, the Wild recalled goaltender Matt Hackett from the Houston Aeros, while placing Darcy Kuemper on Injured Reserve.

The Predators and the Wild have split the first two meetings of the season played at Xcel Energy Center. Nashville won the first game, 3-1, on Jan. 21, while Minnesota took the second in overtime, 2-1, on Feb. 9.

On Tuesday, Minnesota suffered a 5-3 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks. Devin Setoguchi got the Wild on the board first period before the Hawks scored four unanswered goals. The Wild scored two third period goals, first by Suter and followed by Kyle Brodziak, to bring the game within one, but Chicago answered with its fifth goal midway through the period. Goaltender Niklas Backstrom stopped 13-of-17 shots in one period of play, before being replaced in net by Kuemper, who stopped 14-of-15 shots.

Last night, the Predators shutout the Edmonton Oilers, 6-0. Colin Wilson had two goals, giving him a team-leading seven, and two assists, Shea Weber had three assists while Pekka Rinne made 24 saves for his League-leading fourth shutout.
Meet The Preds If You're Going
Suter’s former defensive partner with the Preds is Norris Trophy finalist, Shea Weber. The blueliner has three goals and nine assists on the season.

Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne is 8-3-1 with a 2.20 goals against average, a .917 save percentage and three shutouts in 13 games (11 starts) against the Wild. 
Tonight at Bridgestone Arena is McDonald's Family Four Pack/Fellowship Night.

The Wild will wear its WHITE sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Devin Setoguchi has a five-game point streak (2-4=6), his longest since a five-game streak with San Jose Feb. 19-March 1, 2011 (6-2=8). He has 12 points (5-7=12) and two game-winning goals this the season, including 10 points (5-5=10) in 12 games since his first goal of the year on Feb. 9 versus Nashville.

Fans can guess who's going to be hot with the Wild's HotBox Fantasy Challenge presented by the Pioneer Press for a chance to win great prizes.
 
Wild.com
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
WildTV
Yeo Gameday | Suter Gameday |
PONDcast
Wild Weekly
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
Clutterbuck’s return shakes things up a bit:

Parise – Koivu – Coyle
Zucker – Cullen – Setoguchi
Heatley – Brodziak – Clutterbuck
Mitchell – Konopka – Rupp

The blue line will remain unchanged:

Suter – Brodin
Spurgeon – Stoner
Falk – Gilbert

Backstrom is 19-2-4 all-time in games after being pulled (non-injury), posting a 1.94 GAA and .932 SV% in those contests.
View From The Press Box
We know what Clutter brings to the table. He’s a guy that’s extremely difficult to play against. When a guy like Clutter is on the ice it’s a different story.  

- Yeo on Clutterbucks return to the lineup
Forwards Mikael Granlund and Pierre-Marc Bouchard and defenseman Nate Prosser are expected to be tonight’s healthy scratches.

Goaltenders Josh Harding (treatment for multiple sclerosis) and Darcy Kuemper (lower body)  are both on Injured Reserve and did not travel with the team. 
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
Nashville’s assistant coach Lane Lambert finished an 18-year playing career with the Houston Aeros in 2000-01. Minnesota starts its fifth of nine sets of back-to-back games this season, having gone 4-0-0 in the first contest of consecutive games. Saturday’s game also marks the fifth time the Wild faces an opponent who is playing for the second consecutive day – the Wild is 2-1-1 in those contests this season.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild at Nashville will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 7:00 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.

Click here to receive Minnesota Wild broadcast alerts/game day previews each Wild Game day.
  
Wild.com
Prospects Report - March 6 | The Game Within The Game | State Tourney Preview | Plays of the Week | Five Takeaways at CHI
WildTV
Yeo - March 8 | Suter - March 8 | Clutterbuck - March 8
PONDcast
Prospects PONDcast
Photo Gallery
Let's Play Hockey Expo
2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 09 '13MIN 2 at NSH 1 - SOM. Cullen
Feb 09 '13NSH 1 at MIN 2 - OTD. Setoguchi
Jan 22 '13NSH 3 at MIN 1M. Erat
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Koivu2341519-41000
Z. Parise239716-21252
R. Suter2311516-61010
D. Heatley238513-7631
M. Cullen2331013+1800
D. Setoguchi235712+21422
T. Gilbert23358-81010
M. Granlund19156-3400
K. Brodziak23325-8400
P. Bouchard20235+0801
J. Zucker9314+3400
C. Clutterbuck17224+0600
J. Spurgeon14224+0211
C. Coyle12213-1901
M. Rupp22123+02700
T. Mitchell21123-41201
J. Brodin20033-2800
C. Stoner23022+11600
M. Scandella6101-1400
J. Falk19011-51100
Z. Konopka17000-15900
N. Prosser10000+2200
D. Powe8000+1900
J. Larsson1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
N. Backstrom1810-6-2404632.32.914
D. Kuemper41-2-081052.22.924
J. Harding41-1-07612.92.885
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
C. Wilson2571219+1421
S. Weber2531013+61301
M. Erat2431013-32601
S. Kostitsyn252911+7410
M. Fisher254610+51810
D. Legwand25549+11020
G. Bourque23628+7412
P. Hornqvist14358-1631
R. Josi25347+5401
C. Smith25336-51010
R. Ellis25246+2620
K. Klein25156+0200
N. Spaling24325-71200
B. Yip19235+01700
J. Blum15145+2200
R. Clune24224+34601
P. Gaustad18134+01600
B. Butler16112-6210
Z. Boychuk10101-1200
S. Hannan25011-82000
M. Halischuk16011-4600
H. Gill15000-1800
B. McGrattan2000+0000
V. Bartley2000+0200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
P. Rinne239-8-5475862.09.920
C. Mason51-1-19902.89.900
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