Predators at Wild
Zach Parise appears right at home with the Minnesota Wild. One of the Wild’s big free agent acquisitions in the offseason along with defenseman Ryan Suter, Parise has a goal and two assists in the first two games of the season and will look to continue that success when Minnesota hosts the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. Suter, who played the first seven seasons of his career with Nashville, has yet to record a point with the Wild, but is tied for the team lead with seven blocked shots. Dany Heatley scored two power-play goals in the season opener and has found some chemistry on a line with Parise and captain Mikko Koivu.
A road trip might just be what the Predators need after starting the season with back-to-back shootout losses in Nashville. In both losses, the Predators held an early lead, but were unable to keep it and couldn’t capitalize on late scoring chances, leaving them with two points from their first two games. The St. Louis Blues fired 39 shots at Pekka Rinne in regulation and overtime on Monday as Nashville continues to adjust its defense to account for the loss of Suter. Defenseman Roman Josi, who led the Predators in ice-time in their opener, was second to captain Shea Weber with 25 minutes against the Blues.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS Tennessee, FS North, FS Wisconsin
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (0-0-2): Patric Hornqvist has a goal and three assists while Martin Erat has a goal and two assists. Weber has yet to record a point for Nashville through the first two games, but leads the team with 11 shots and nine hits. Ryan Ellis, a first-round pick in 2009, has a goal and an assist while playing about 15 minutes per game. Rinne has allowed five goals on 67 shots in his first two starts. Backup goaltender Chris Mason has yet to play.
ABOUT THE WILD (2-0-0): Goaltender Josh Harding, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, had a 24-save shutout in his first start Sunday. Niklas Backstrom allowed two goals on 27 shots Saturday. Cal Clutterbuck leads the team in hits with nine and also has nine shots, but only one assist. Rookie Mikael Granlund scored a goal in the opener and is 9-for-15 in the faceoff circle. Granlund recorded 21 points in 21 games with the AHL’s Houston Aeros.
1. Minnesota’s penalty killing unit is 6-for-6.
2. Nashville was 22-16-3 on the road last season.
3. The Predators won three of four games against the Wild last season. Two of those wins came in the shootout.
Wild 4, Predators 2