Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Wednesday, October 28th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 2nd
Game 3: Saturday, December 5th
Game 4: Thursday, March 18th

Wild 5

(13-12-3, 29 pts)

Predators 3

(16-11-2, 34 pts)

8:00 PM ET, December 5, 2009

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

1 2 3 T
MIN 2 2 15
NSH 1 0 23

A. Brunette (Wild - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

M. Havlat (Wild - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

J. Harding (Wild - G): Saves: 26, Save Pct.: .897

Wild-Predators Preview


The Minnesota Wild are making a habit of coming from behind to win games. The Nashville Predators experienced that firsthand.

Coming off their latest successful comeback, the surging Wild try to extend their season-high winning streak to five games Saturday night with a second victory in four days over the host Predators.

Overcoming a pair of two-goal deficits, Minnesota (12-12-3) won 5-4 over Anaheim in a shootout Friday for its third straight victory decided beyond regulation. In the midst of a 5-0-1 stretch, the Wild have allowed the first goal in five straight games and seven of their last eight contests.

One of those was a 5-4 overtime home win over Nashville (16-10-2) on Tuesday. Minnesota trailed by a goal twice before Mikko Koivu forced overtime with a third-period tally and Andrew Ebbett scored in the extra session.

Since dropping nine of its first 12 games, Minnesota is 9-3-3. The Wild have come from behind in eight of their 12 victories.

"I think it's always the confident thing, you have to earn it," Koivu said. "I think it's for every player, every team. You have to find a way at the beginning of the season to build the confidence. I think we've been doing a good job lately, and obviously when you win some games you get the points that builds the confidence as a team."

Guillaume Latendresse had a goal with an assist against Nashville, and scored the shootout winner Friday after Koivu and Antti Miettinen each had two goals and an assist.

While Koivu has three goals and five assists in his last four games -- including one of each against Nashville -- Latendresse has scored in three of the four games he's played since being acquired from Montreal.

Niklas Backstrom made just 14 saves Friday, but improved to 11-9-3 with a 2.70 goals-against average. Though he's 7-2-0 with a 3.03 GAA versus the Predators, backup Josh Harding could be in net for this back-to-back scenario.

Harding is 1-3-0 with a 3.41 GAA overall this season and 2-3-0 with a 2.61 GAA lifetime against Nashville, which ended a two-game winless stretch with a 4-1 victory at Chicago on Friday.

Martin Erat, Dan Hamhuis and Jordin Tootoo each had a goal with an assist and Dan Ellis stopped 33 shots as the Predators moved within three points of the Central Division-leading Blackhawks.

"It was a big game for us," Ellis said. "We hung on until the end."

Ellis is 5-4-1 with a 2.53 GAA and coming off only his second start in 12 games, but could be back in net for the second straight night since Pekka Rinne has lost three in a row.

Ellis is 2-2-0 with a 2.98 GAA against Minnesota, while Rinne is 2-1-1 with a 3.03 GAA versus the Wild.

Steve Sullivan had a goal with three assists and Jason Arnott added two goals and an assist Tuesday versus Minnesota, but both were held without a point against Chicago.

Sullivan had two assists in Nashville's 4-3 win at Minnesota on Oct. 28.

The Predators have won two of the last three meetings between the teams in Nashville.