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Surging Preds cap road trip in Minnesota

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Nashville Predators look to wrap a three-game road trip perfect on Tuesday night as they visit the struggling Minnesota Wild for the second time this season.

The Preds lost three of four to begin the season -- the lone victory in that span coming at home versus the Wild on Oct. 8 after they lost their first two road contests of the campaign -- but have since going 4-0-1. That includes victories in Montreal and Winnipeg on back-to-back nights to open this swing.

Pekka Rinne made 28 saves in a 2-1 win over the Canadiens on Saturday, then got his first game off when the Predators visited the Jets the following night. Carter Hutton made his second career start and posted 37 saves to win his first NHL game.

"When I do get a chance to play, I need to find ways to win. That's what they brought me in for," said the 27-year-old Hutton, who made his NHL debut with one start with the Chicago Blackhawks last season.

Hutton had made one previous appearance this season when he relieved Rinne on Oct. 3 in St. Louis.

Matt Cullen, Eric Nystrom and Patric Hornqvist backed Hutton's strong performance with a goal apiece in the second period.

Nashville never trailed versus Winnipeg after needing Seth Jones' tally with 1:27 to play on Saturday night to beat Montreal and coach Barry Trotz thought his club's effort in that game carried over the following night.

"(Saturday) we really worked hard and couldn't get a break and finally we get the win at the end," said Trotz. "But you keep working hard, I always say that there are hockey gods. If you keep doing the right things over and over again, they might not reward you today, but they're going to reward you down the road."

Rinne should return to net tonight and is 9-3-2 with three shutouts and a 2.08 goals against average in his career versus the Wild.

Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo, meanwhile, thought his club deserved better on Saturday in a 2-1 shootout loss to the hosting Florida Panthers. Josh Harding made 21 saves through overtime, but was scored on by both Panther skaters while Zack Parise and Mikko Koivu failed on their attempts for the Wild.

Jonas Brodin had the regulation goal for Minnesota, which has lost three straight, the first two in regulation.

"We're playing great defensively and playing our tails off," said Yeo. "You can see it's getting in the guys heads, because we're working real hard and not getting rewarded."

Minnesota was left pointless when it faced the Predators in Nashville on Oct. 8. The Preds got three first-period goals from Filip Forsberg, Colin Wilson and Eric Nystrom, who capped the surge with a successful penalty shot.

Rinne made 32 saves.

Parise and Jared Spurgeon scored for the Wild and starter Niklas Backstrom was forced out late in the first period with a right leg injury following a collision in the goalmouth.

Backstrom missed four games with the ailment before returning, while Harding allowed one goal on 20 shots in relief.

Harding, who has posted a 1.11 GAA in seven games this season, could get the call again tonight and is 4-6-1 with a 2.76 GAA in 11 games against the Predators.

Nashville is 5-0-2 in its last seven versus Minnesota and has won eight of the previous 11 encounters overall.

10/22 11:04:58 ET

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Schedule

Sunday, April 20Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia «4Final | Box
NY Rangers2Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Detroit13rd Prd 13:25 | Box
Boston4@theRink | TV: NBC, TSN, RDS
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Detroit leads series, 1-0.
Tampa Bay 4/20 7:00 PM ET
Montreal NBC, TSN
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Three. Montreal leads series, 2-0.
Los Angeles 4/20 10:00 PM ET
San Jose NBCSN, CBC, FSN-W
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. San Jose leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
4th
MIA 79
CHA 69
 
Final
CLE 6
TOR 4
Final
DET 2
ANA 1
13th
NYM 3
ATL 3
 
Final
MIA 3
SEA 2
13th
PIT 2
MIL 2
 
Final
WAS 3
STL 2
12th
TAM 1
NYY 1
 
Final
KAN 3
MIN 8
 
7th
CHC 2
CIN 8
 
7th
TEX 2
CWS 9
 
4th
OAK 2
HOU 1
 
5th
LOS 0
ARI 0
 
4th
COL 4
PHI 3
 
4th
SDP 2
SFG 4
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
Final
SAN 90
DAL 85
4th
MIA 79
CHA 69
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
NYR 2
PHI 4
3rd
BOS 4
DET 1
 
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TAM
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3