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Back to their defensive ways, the Wild to start winning

Minnesota (15-9-1) at Nashville (13-10-2) 8:00 p.m. EST

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- The Minnesota Wild had a

momentary lapse of defensive skill, but that seems to have

passed.

The Wild will try to ride their defense to a win when they face

the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

Minnesota leads the NHL in least goals-allowed, surrendering

just 55 in 25 games. Their defense showed some holes on Monday

in a 6-5 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. It was the first time

that the Wild had yielded more than four goals in the game.

They came back with renewed vigor on Wednesday and zipped the

St. Louis Blues, 4-0. They kept up the defense but lost the

offense on Friday, falling, 2-1, to the Vancouver Canucks.

The loss to the Canucks marked the first time in the last seven

games that Minnesota failed to score at least three goals.

Mikko Koivu scored the lone goal against the Canucks, his 10th

of the season.

The Wild will have to come with consistency on both sides of the

puck if they hope to down the Predators, who have won two

straight, including a 3-2 win against Colorado on Thursday.

Nashville scored all its goals in the first period.

The Predators are 4-1-1 over their last six games due mainly to

an improved defensive effort. They have allowed seven goals

during the four wins.

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