Weather Forecast


Predators blank Wild, take first in Central

Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek (14) skates with the puck against Nashville Predators defenseman Alexei Emelin (25) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday, Dec. 30. (Christopher Hanewinckel / USA TODAY Sports)1 / 2
Nashville Predators goalie Juuse Saros (74) makes a save on a shot by Minnesota Wild left wing Jason Zucker (16) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday, Dec. 30. (Christopher Hanewinckel / USA TODAY Sports)2 / 2

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.