Stringing together shutouts has become an annual event for Devan Dubnyk as the Minnesota goaltender tries for his fourth consecutive game without allowing a goal when the Wild host the red-hot Nashville Predators on Thursday. Dubnyk stopped 30 shots in Minnesota’s 3-0 victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday, setting a club record with a run of 195 minutes, 5 seconds and breaking his old mark of 183:16 set last season during a string of three straight shutouts.
”It’s been good. I feel confident in there,‘’ Dubnyk told reporters. “The biggest key for me is just finding pucks and making sure my feet are set. That kind of trickles down into everything else as far as moving around and rebound control and all that stuff.” While Dubnyk has been impenetrable, opponents cannot keep Jason Zucker from scoring as the Wild winger has seven goals in the last four games. Nashville defeated Washington 6-3 on Tuesday for its fifth straight victory as newcomer Kyle Turris continues to fit in with his new teammates. The line of Craig Smith and Kevin Fiala centered by Turris combined for two goals and two assists Tuesday, with Turris contributing a goal and two assists in two games with the Predators.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Tennessee (Nashville), FSN North (Minnesota)
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (10-5-2): Filip Forsberg scored his 100th career goal Tuesday and leads the club with nine tallies and 17 points. Nick Bonino, who scored twice in his first six games since signing as a free agent during the offseason after winning two Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh, returned Tuesday after missing 11 contests with an ankle injury. Pekka Rinne (9-2-2, 2.29 goals-against average, .926 save percentage) has allowed 11 goals during a four-game winning streak.
ABOUT THE WILD (8-7-2): Zucker’s offensive explosion vaulted him to the team scoring lead with 10 goals and 15 points, and he is on pace to shatter his career high of 22 goals set last season. Zucker shares the club lead in shots on goal (48) with Eric Staal, who has six goals and 14 points after recording a tally and an assist Tuesday. Chris Stewart scored six goals in his first six games this season, but hasn’t recorded a point in 11 contests since.
1. Nashville placed LW Scott Hartnell and D Yannick Weber on injured reserve Tuesday with lower-body injuries. Hartnell is expected to miss 3-to-5 weeks while Weber will likely be out 2-to-4 weeks.
2. Zucker had scored Minnesota’s last six goals before Nino Nieterreiter tallied 12 seconds into Tuesday’s game. Zucker fell one goal shy of the NHL record for consecutive team goals by one player.
3. The Wild won three of the five meetings last season with the clubs splitting two games in Minnesota.
PREDICTION: Wild 3, Predators 0