During some of the tougher spots of the Minnesota Wild’s season, it seemed like they couldn’t buy much puck luck. Maybe that’s what made Nino Niederreiter’s insurance goal in a 4-2 win against the Nashville Predators a little extra special.
Niederreiter grabbed the puck deep in his zone, turned and sent a no-look shot down the ice that ended up hitting the Predators’ empty net. It was his second goal of the night, giving him 21 on the season.
There’s no denying the notion that this game meant more to Minnesota than Nashville, yet it’s worth noting that the Wild hung tough through this one. They’ve now won four of five games and remain red-hot with Devan Dubnyk in net. Since Jan. 27, they’re only lost three games and only failed to accrue at least one standings point in two contests.
Their upcoming schedule is a little road-heavy, yet it also features a chunk of teams currently seated outside the playoffs, so this was a nice win and could very well be another important confidence-booster.
The Predators remain comfortably ahead of the pack in the Central Division and the Western Conference in general, so the key for them may come down to avoiding getting too comfortable.
Minnesota’s looking strong right now, but they don’t have the margin of error to get fat and happy. That seems OK right now, as they presented themselves as a lean and mean opponent on national television.