Predators blank Wild, take first in Central
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Scott Hartnell and P.K. Subban broke a scoreless tie Saturday night with third-period goals as the Nashville Predators blanked the Minnesota Wild 3-0 at sold-out Bridgestone Arena.
In a matchup of backup goalies, Nashville's Juuse Saros (4-3-2) outdueled Alex Stalock (7-8-1). Saros stopped 29 shots for his second shutout this season and the third of his career.
Hartnell, a healthy scratch in Friday night's 4-2 loss in Minnesota, cracked the scoring seal at 2:23 of the third period. After Stalock made the initial save on Nick Bonino's wrister, Hartnell collected the rebound, skated behind the net and potted his fifth goal on a backhand wraparound.
Subban tacked on insurance with a point blast on the power play at 7:50, his ninth marker of the season. It came with Matt Dumba in the box for tripping Calle Jarnkrok to cancel the last 20 seconds of a Wild man advantage.
Stalock bagged 26 saves for Minnesota, which fell to 20-16-3 overall and 8-12-1 on the road. The Predators (23-10-5) jumped over idle Winnipeg to regain first place in the tightly bunched Central Division.
Minnesota controlled play for most of the first period but couldn't translate its territorial advantage into a goal despite outshooting Nashville 10-7.
Saros kept the game scoreless by stoning Matt Cullen at the goalmouth in the second period. Later, Viktor Arvidsson beat Stalock late in a power play but not the goal post.
Arvidsson, who hit a crossbar on a rebound try late in the first period, got a measure of satisfaction with an empty-netter at 17:40. It was his 12th goal of the season.
NOTES: Nashville placed LW Filip Forsberg (upper-body injury) on injured reserve Saturday and recalled C Frederick Gaudreau from Milwaukee of the AHL. Forsberg leads the Predators in goals with 15. ... Minnesota RW Nino Niederreiter (lower-body injury) missed his fourth consecutive game. ... The Wild's only healthy scratch was D Mike Reilly. ... Nashville scratches were D Yannick Weber, RW Miikka Salomaki and LW Pontus Aberg.