Goalie nods: Slumping Preds turn to Hutton vs. Wild

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The Nashville Predators are in the middle of a pretty bad slump. Not only have they lost five straight games, but they’re franchise goalie, Pekka Rinne, just hasn’t been making the saves.

The 33-year-old has just one win in his last six contests, and he’s allowed 20 goals in those five losses.

On Saturday, the Preds will turn to backup Carter Hutton to break them out of their prolonged slump.

The 30-year-old has started three of his team’s last 18 games. He’s 1-1-1 in those games, but he hasn’t won since Dec. 7.

This is also Hutton’s first home start of the 2015-16 season.

“(Hutton) is ready to go. He’s been working hard,” said coach Peter Laviolette, per the Tennessean. “He gets an opportunity and it gives Peks a chance to take a moment in the schedule. The grind is going to continue after this, but it’s a chance (for Rinne) to catch a break. And there’s a day off (Sunday), too, so he’ll have a couple days to work on things in practice.”

The Wild will counter with starter Devan Dubnyk.

Elsewhere…

Mike Condon will make his fourth consecutive start for the Canadiens. He’s lost two of his last three contests, but he’s only allowed five goals during that span. The Blues will start Brian Elliott.

–After shutting out New Jersey in Colorado’s last game, Calvin Pickard will get another start against Columbus. The Jackets will go with Joonas Korpisalo.

Braden Holtby will start against Buffalo. The 26-year-old hasn’t lost a game in regulation since Nov. 10. The Sabres will go with Chad Johnson.

–The Leafs are expected to go with Jonathan Bernier, while the Bruins are expected to go with starter Tuukka Rask after Jonas Gustavsson started last night’s game.

Jonas Hiller will start for Calgary in the Battle of Alberta. The Oilers will go with Cam Talbot.

Antti Niemi will be between the pipes for the Dallas. The Sharks turn to Martin Jones, who is riding a personal three-game winning streak.