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Spals to the Wall, Part Deux! Spaling nets 2, Preds win 6th straight…

It took him 50 games to score his first NHL goal.

He now has three in his last four.

Nick Spaling came back from his upper-body injury tonight and scored two goals, helping the Nashville Predators to a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Wild in front of 15,113 at Bridgestone Arena.

Joining Spaling in the Nashville goal scoring was David Legwand, Joel Ward and Marcel Goc.

The Preds have now won six games in a row, a season high.

Pekka Rinne turned aside 25 Wild shots to improve to 13-10-4 on the year. It’s the fifth straight game Rinne has allowed just a single goal.

In the first period, on just their third shot on goal, Marek Svatos fired a wrister on net from the blueline. A streaking Legwand just put his stick on the ice and redirected it past Jose Theodore to put Nashville up 1-0.

Just as they killed off Cam Barker’s penalty, Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu got his team on the board when he put a nice backhander past Rinne’s glove.

The Preds regained the  lead, however, when Ward picked up a rebound in front of Theodore and lifted a backhand past the outstretched netminder.

In the third period, Spaling fired a wrist shot on net intender for Jerred Smithson who was heading to the net. Instead, the puck found it’s way through the traffic and past Theodore to give the home team a 3-1 lead.

The kid they call “Spals” wasn’t finished. He tallied his second goal of the night after a mad flurry in front (and around) Theodore. The puck – somehow – slid under the pile of players in front and the Predators went up 4-1.

In a very questionable move, Minnesota Head Coach Todd Richards pulled Theodore and inserted Anton Khudobin with under10 minutes to go. Just minutes later, Marcel Goc bagged his eighth of the year to make it 5-1.

Nashville will try to extend their winning streak to seven when they face the Florida Panthers on Thursday night in Sunrise, Florida. Mark Willoughby from will be there covering the action so be sure to follow him on Twitter if you don’t already.

Puck drops at 6:30pm and can be seen locally on FS-Tennessee.

* Kevin Klein now has two points since December 6. Both assists.
* Legwand now has a two-game goal scoring streak and has collected five points since coming back from injury on December 31 (6 games).
* Jerred Smithson‘s last multi-penalty game was on December 15, 2009.
* Svatos now has two points in his last three contests.
* Rinne has allowed just a single goal in six of his last seven games.

MY THREE STARS (as voted on with 5:55 left in regulation):
1) Nick Spaling (NSH)
2) Joel Ward (NSH)
3) Pekka Rinne (NSH)

1) Nick Spaling (NSH)
2) Joel Ward (NSH)
3) Pekka Rinne (NSH)