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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Nashville

Tuesday, 10.22.2013 / 12:51 PM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

Minnesota Wild (3-3-3: 9 points, 11th in Western Conference, 5th in Central Division) vs Nashville Predators (5-3-1: 11 points, T-7th in Western Conference, T-3rd in Central Division)
State of Hockey fans will notice a lot of lavender at Xcel Energy Center tonight because the Minnesota Wild will host Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night as it battles the Nashville Predators. The game will feature lavender dasher boards, lavender tape, and all helmets will have a HFC decal, while Wild coaches will wear a Hockey Fights Cancer tie.

On the ice the Wild hopes that a little home cooking will get the team back on track after a four game road trip, where the team went 1-2-1. While Minnesota played well on the roadie, there has been a dichotomy in certain areas in the team’s game, thus far. The club has played better than its .500 record indicates, but has to improve on certain parts of its game.

The biggest thing that has plagued Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo’s team is capitalizing on chances at even strength. While the team allowed only two 5-on-5 goals on its road trip, it only scored two. On the other hand, the team is allowing a League low 21.8 shots against per game while averaging over 30 shot for per game.

Special teams also seem to have a split personality. The power play is running at 26.3 percent, but the penalty kill is towards the bottom of the NHL stopping 73 percent of opponent’s chances.

The Wild hopes to exact a little revenge on its Central Division opponent, Predators. Earlier this month, Minnesota was downed in Nashville, 3-2. The loss pushed the Wild below .500 against the Preds all time (20-21-7 overall), but has a 13-8-3 record at Xcel Energy Center.

It's funny how some things like milestones seem to work out. Defenseman Ryan Suter is set to skate in his 600th game tonight. Of course, he skated in his first 542 games with the Preds.

On Saturday, the Wild earned a shootout point against the Florida Panthers, losing 2-1. Jonas Brodin scored his third goal of the season, eclipsing last season’s total, on the power play. Dany Heatley (2) and Mikael Granlund (4) picked up assists on the goal. Josh Harding made 20 saves during the game, but suffered the shootout loss.

The Preds picked up a road win on Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets, 3-1. Eric Nystrom, Patric Hornqvist and Matt Cullen paced the Predators with goals. The big story was Carter Hutton, who made 38 saves for his first career win. 
Meet the Preds If You're Going
Nashville closes out a four-game road trip tonight with the team streaking. The road has been a haven for the Preds, earning points in three straight, including back-to-back wins in Montreal and Winnipeg. Overall, the club has points five-straight contests.

The Predators haven’t been all that impressive offensively, but it has scored timely goals and won the close ones. Four out of the team’s five wins have come by one-goal margins.
Along with Hockey Fights Cancer Night, the Wild will unveil Hockey Bingo. The first 5,000 fans through the gate will receive a bingo card for a chance to win great prizes.

The Wild will wear its RED sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
‪Entering play Monday, Jonas Brodin leads NHL defensemen with three goals and is tied for the Wild lead with six points, T-9th amongst all NHL blueliners. The 20-year-old also ranks ninth amongst all NHL players in TOI/game (25:42).

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 | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
WildTV
Yeo | Fontaine | Niederreiter | Hockey Fights Cancer Night
PONDcast
Coming Soon
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
The Wild will return Nino Niederreiter to the top line, which will change the rest of the lines:


Parise—Koivu—Niederreiter
Heatley—Granlund—Pominville
Cooke—Brodziak—Fontaine
Mitchell—Konopka—Veilleux

Nate Prosser will get into his second game of the season:

Suter—Brodin
Spurgeon—Scandella
Stoner—Prosser

The Wild will ride Josh Harding’s hot hand. Harding is 4-6-1 with a 2.76 GAA and a .909 SV% in 11 games (10 starts) against Nashville.
View From The Press Box
We have to create more chances; we have to have an attack mentality. And then when there is an opportunity to finish, we have to finish.

-    Yeo on burying chances
Keith Ballard will miss another game, as a preventative measure. Mathew Dumba will join him.



Charlie Coyle is on Injured Reserve with a knee sprain and is expected to be out for a few more weeks. Mike Rupp is still out with a lower-body injury and on IR.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
Matt Cullen, a native of Virginia, spent the last three seasons with the Wild collecting 101 points (33-68=101) in 193 games. Matt Hendricks is a native of Blaine and went to St. Cloud State (2000-04). Eric Nystrom skated in 82 games with Minnesota in 2010-11. Nashville Assistant Coach Phil Housley is a native of South Saint Paul and previously coached at Stillwater High School. Ryan Suter is set to skate in his 600th NHL game tonight. The blueliner has played 13,835 minutes and 6 seconds of regulars-season NHL hockey, or a little more than nine days.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs. Predators will be broadcast nationally in high definition on NBS Sports Network with a start time at 7:00 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.  
Wild.com
Plays of the Week | Five Takeaways at Florida | Wild 5-Hole at Florida |
WildTV
Yeo - Oct. 21 | Granlund - Oct. 21 | Spurgeon - Oct. 21
PONDcast
Yeo, Backstrom, Mitchell, Parise - Oct. 21
Photo Gallery
Wild at FLA - Oct. 19
2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 13 '14NSH 7 at MIN 3R. Josi
Feb 06 '14NSH 2 at MIN 3 - OTN. Niederreiter
Jan 12 '14MIN 4 at NSH 0D. Heatley
Oct 22 '13NSH 0 at MIN 2J. Fontaine
Oct 08 '13MIN 2 at NSH 3E. Nystrom
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
C. Smith10156+4400
P. Hornqvist10325+0212
M. Fisher7235-12100
C. Wilson10145+0010
D. Legwand10145-5200
M. Cullen10224+2600
S. Jones10224+0211
S. Weber10224-31410
E. Nystrom10213-42101
F. Forsberg7123-6210
R. Ellis8112+3201
G. Bourque9022+3000
P. Gaustad10101+1600
N. Spaling6011+0000
V. Bartley10000+21000
M. Hendricks10000-31500
K. Klein10000-4200
M. Ekholm10000-5000
V. Stalberg6000-2000
R. Clune5000-21400
R. Josi2000-2000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
P. Rinne94-4-1192292.31.917
C. Hutton21-0-02611.09.967
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
Z. Parise10437+1630
M. Koivu10167+2600
M. Cooke10336+5602
J. Brodin10336+0420
J. Pominville10404-1231
N. Niederreiter10134-11000
J. Spurgeon10134-2410
R. Suter10044+0400
M. Granlund10044-2200
K. Brodziak10123+3600
J. Fontaine10202+5401
D. Heatley10022-1600
C. Stoner9022+31300
M. Dumba6101+0210
T. Mitchell10011+0200
K. Ballard6011+3700
Z. Konopka10000-12800
S. Veilleux7000-1400
M. Scandella7000-1200
N. Prosser2000+1500
C. Coyle2000-2200
J. Zucker1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Harding84-2-171500.96.953
N. Backstrom30-0-28533.40.849
D. Kuemper10-1-0375.63.571
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