Preds lack shots, offense in loss to Minnesota

Preds v MIN

The Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild celebrated the fact they were on national TV by throwing a yawn party. Were it not for Pekka Rinne‘s heroics, there would be just about nothing to write about.

In the end, however, Minnesota beat the Preds 2-0 in front of 17,651 at Xcel Energy Center and in front of an NBC Sports Network broadcast.

The Wild brought the intensity early. Nashville survived the opening period thanks only to Rinne. He turned aside all 13 Minnesota shots he faced while the team in front of him mustered just three on Josh Harding.

Minnesota finally solved the riddle that was Rinne on their 23rd shot of the game. With just over a minute left in the middle frame, rookie winger Justin Fontaine scored his second goal of the year when he followed up a Clayton Stoner shot from the point that Rinne allowed a rebound on.

The Predators thought they had tied it with less than a minute left in the contest. Matt Cullen, standing on the goal line to the near side of Harding, tried to use the commotion in the crease as a distraction. The former Wild center tried to slip the puck between Harding and the post but defenseman Jared Spurgeon dove to clear it off the line, keeping his team in front. Moments later, Jason Pominville scored into the empty net to seal the deal for Minnesota.

Rinne finished the night with an impressive 27 saves on 28 shots while Harding posted his first shutout of the year while turning aside a whopping 16.

Nashville will try to get back in the win column — and muster some more offense — Thursday night against Winnipeg. Thankfully, it won’t be on national TV.

Puck drops at 7:00pm Central.

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THE THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
1. Josh Harding (MIN)
2. Justin Fontaine (MIN)
3. Pekka Rinne (NSH)