The Minnesota Wild will likely need to pick up the pace offensively if they hope to rebound from consecutive home losses. It shouldn’t be too difficult to keep up with the low-scoring Nashville Predators.
The Wild will look to break out of their scoring funk when they host the Predators on Friday in a matchup of the two lowest-scoring teams in the Western Conference.
Minnesota (10-8-2) is scoring 2.35 goals per game - tied for 26th in the NHL - and has been held to two goals or less in eight straight home games.
The Wild have been outscored 11-3 in losses to the Flyers and New York Rangers.
“We’re kind of losing our focus, and they’re capitalizing,” forward John Madden(notes) said. “There’s some good things going on out there, but the good things have to outweigh the bad things, and right now we’re not getting enough good things.”
Havlat has 31 points in 24 career games versus Nashville, including 11 multi-point efforts.
Backstrom is 7-2-0 with a 3.03 GAA against the Predators, and could be in line for a bounce back performance against a team which has struggled to score itself.
Nashville (9-7-4) has been held to three goals in its last three games, losing 2-1 in a shootout to St. Louis on Wednesday.
The Predators outshot the Blues 30-15 but managed just one goal in regulation, then missed all five shootout attempts to fall to 4-7-1 in their last 12 contests.
Nashville was 0 for 3 on the power play and has converted two of its last 45 opportunities with the man advantage.
Rinne is tied for the league lead with two road shutouts, and is 3-1-1 against Minnesota. He shut out the Wild for the second time with 17 saves in a 5-0 win March 18.