Quick starts have helped the Nashville Predators win their last two games. If they start quickly again, they have a chance to match their longest winning streak of the season.
The Predators look to keep things going on Saturday night when they host the Minnesota Wild.
The Predators have won all seven games they’ve led after the first period, and are 10-2-0 when scoring the first goal. They’ve scored first in each of their last six games, going 4-1-1 in that span.
“Those are good stats and good omens for us,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “We have been behind in so many games 2-0 or 3-1 and it is hard to come back night in and night out. It is taxing on your team because you are pushing the envelope all the time.”
Weber has three goals and three assists in his last six games, bringing his season point total to 24 - tops among NHL defensemen.
Nashville, which previously won three straight from Nov. 11-15, will try to overcome the opponent which dealt the Predators their last defeat exactly one week ago in the same arena.
Last Saturday at the Sommet Center, the Wild scored twice in the first period and notched a season-high five power-play goals while beating the Predators 6-2 - their sixth win in the last seven matchups with Nashville.
Minnesota (15-9-1) had won three of four overall before falling 2-1 at home to Vancouver on Friday night. After totaling a season-high 38 shots in Wednesday’s 4-0 victory over St. Louis, the Wild mustered only 17 as they failed to score at least three goals for the first time seven games.
“They didn’t give us much,” Minnesota center Eric Belanger said. “In the first period, and a half, I’d say we were chasing the puck everywhere on the ice. Its hard to get anything going.”
Niklas Backstrom made 29 saves for Minnesota, while captain Mikko Koivu scored the lone goal to give him five goals and six assists during a career-high seven-game point streak. He also has four goals and seven assists during a six-game point streak versus the Predators, including two goals and an assist in last Saturday’s win.
Backstrom has won all five of his career appearances versus Nashville, though backup Josh Harding won last week’s meeting.
This game opens a four-game road trip for the Wild, who failed to take advantage of playing seven of their previous eight games at home, going 4-4-0 in that stretch. However, they are 7-3-0 in road games.