The Predators avoided the sweep in their home-and-home with the Wild.
Story written by Mark Harris
Just 24 hours after falling to the Minnesota Wild on the road 4-2, the Nashville Predators bounced back behind a strong performance in net by Juuse Saros for a 3-0 win over the Wild on Saturday.
Saros made a handful of exceptional stops on his way to a total of 29 saves for what was his second shutout of the season. Nashville also earned the win without its leading scorer as Filip Forsberg was placed on injured reserve earlier Saturday.
After a poor first period in Minnesota on Friday night, the Predators looked like a bit of a different team during the first 20 minutes in this one. They were out shot 10-7 and neither team scored, but the 5-on-5 play was all Nashville as it managed 20 total shot attempts compared to just eight from the Wild.
The second frame was the same as the first in the sense that neither team was able to find the back of the net. The Preds out shot the Wild 11-8 in the period, but the real story was Minnesota’s penalty kill killing off a total of three Nashville power play opportunities. Viktor Arvidsson had the best chance on the man advantage as he hammered one off of the post.
The scoreless contest wouldn’t last long into the third period. Just 2:23 into the frame Scott Hartnell slid the puck home from behind the net to give Nashville the 1-0 edge. The goal was Hartnell’s fifth of the year and came just one-day removed from being a healthy scratch.
The Predators carried the momentum of the goal and finally got their power play working as P.K. Subban fired home a blast from the point on the man advantage for his ninth goal of the year. The tally came with 12:10 left in regulation.
The Wild elected to pull Alex Stalock for the extra attacker with 3:00 remaining and Viktor Arvidsson eventually sealed the deal with an empty net goal.