Predators hope to continue successful trip against Wild

SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- On Friday night, the Nashville Predators were playing the second of back-to-back road games and still managed a win in Edmonton to go 3-1-0 so far on their five-game road swing.

They conclude the road trip on Sunday night against the Minnesota Wild, and this time the tables are turned.

The Predators had Saturday off and will be well rested, in contrast to the Wild, who will be playing the second game of a back-to-back after a dramatic 5-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks at home on Saturday night.

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A Predators win would just be more confirmation that things are going well for the team on this journey west.

"I've liked every game on the road trip so far," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said after the 3-2 shootout win over the Oilers. "What's impressive about it is when you play the night before sometimes you get a team sitting here waiting for you, you're in the building and you're dealing with other things, a late night, travel."

Nashville has gotten a boost lately from the return of star defenseman P.K. Subban, who played versus the Oilers after missing the previous 16 games with an upper-body injury.

"It's been about five, maybe six weeks that I've been in a game, so it's been a while but I felt pretty comfortable out there," Subban said after the game against the Oilers. "I think sometimes I could've done a little bit more, but I just wanted to keep the game simple today and get my feet under me and just build slowly."

The Wild's recent run to the top of the NHL standings didn't happen slowly. Since Dec. 1, Minnesota is now 19-2-2 after Saturday's late come-from-behind victory over Anaheim.

It was the latest in a string of comebacks for Minnesota, which reached 30 wins in just 45 games, a franchise best.

"We've been coming back all year and we've talked about not changing anything, not trying to press for it, but just sticking with our game and see what happens and just getting more pucks to the net," said Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, who had 26 saves on Saturday. "I say it time and again, but these guys allow me to just stay with it regardless of how the game's going, knowing that I gotta make the next save because we're very capable of coming back."

It will be the third meeting of the season between the Central Division opponents and the first in Minnesota. The Wild won 5-2 and 3-2 in overtime in Nashville earlier in the season, but the Predators have won four of their last five games in Minnesota.

And having Subban back is a good omen on a few levels for Nashville. In 2011, when he was playing for the Montreal Canadiens, Subban became the first defenseman in history to have a hat trick against the Wild.