|Date of game: 12/20/2014
Nashville Predators (20-8-2) at Minnesota Wild (16-12-2), 8 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - While the Nashville Predators have yet to lose consecutive games this season, they've yet to put together a sizeable winning streak this month.
The Preds look to make it two wins in a row on Saturday night as they visit the Minnesota Wild to begin a three-game trip.
Nashville has gone 4-3-0 this month after capping November on a four-game winning streak. The Preds capped a three-game swing with a 2-0 loss at San Jose last Saturday, but responded yet again with a win, topping the Boston Bruins 3-2 in a shootout at home on Tuesday.
Pekka Rinne made 33 saves through overtime and was perfect in the shootout, while Derek Roy had the lone tally of the tiebreaker. Mike Fisher and Mike Ribeiro had goals in regulation.
"We have been talking about it all year, how we are just trying to bounce back as quickly as we can," said Preds forward Filip Forsberg. "Even though we might win a game but we do not play great we want to come back with a better effort the next time we play. I think we played way better tonight than we did in San Jose, so it felt good to win for sure."
Defenseman Anton Volchenkov wasn't feeling at his best after the win, having suffered a lower-body injury that has him day-to-day.
Nashville also placed forward Paul Gaustad on injured reserve Friday due to a lower-body injury that has held him out of the past three games. In response, the Preds recalled forward Viktor Stalberg from the American Hockey League.
Rinne figures to start for Nashville tonight and is 9-4-2 in his career against the Wild with a 2.01 goals against average, .926 save percentage and three shutouts in 16 games (14 starts).
The Wild, meanwhile, have lost back-to-back games for the first time since a four-game slide from Nov. 4-11 and failed to do what the Preds did recently: beat the Bruins in extra time.
Loui Eriksson had a goal for Boston 1:30 into overtime on Wednesday to hand Minnesota a 3-2 setback.
Zdeno Chara flung the puck around the boards off a faceoff win, Carl Soderberg tracked it down and Eriksson deposited a cross-crease pass into a wide-open net for the deciding marker.
Kyle Brodziak and Jason Pominville both supplied offense for the Wild, while Niklas Backstrom stopped 22 pucks in defeat.
Pominville's tally with 8:21 to go in the third period tied the game and came as Ryan Suter's shot off his own rebound hit off Pominville's skate and in.
Both Pominville and Suter were playing in their 700th career game.
"Just have to shake my head again. Their goalie was standing up and had no idea what was going on. Neither really did many of us," said Pominville, who has nine points in his last 11 games.
Minnesota lost the opener of a four-game homestand as Backstrom made starts on back-to-back nights with Darcy Kuemper unable to go because of a stomach virus.
The Wild hope Kuemper can return to action tonight given his success against the Predators. He has won both of his career starts against them -- one a shutout -- while giving up just two goals on 41 shots.
Minnesota forward Matt Cooke also is close to returning from a hip flexor issue that has sidelined him since Oct. 28.
Tonight is the first of five meetings this season between the Wild and Predators. The Wild have won five of the past seven, though the Preds snapped a three-game slide in Minnesota with a 7-3 win on April 13 of last season.