Ryan Suter downplayed his return to Nashville Saturday expecting mixed reactions in his first game back.

There were no cheers for what he did while wearing a Predators sweater, just boos for leaving the music city.

Amid the boos that rained down from the Bridgestone Arena crowd, the defenseman assisted on the Minnesota Wild's only regulation goal in a 2-1 shootout win.

Mikko Koivu and Matt Cullen scored for the Wild in the shootout with moves that opened up the five-hole on Pekka Rinne.

Rinne is a big goaltender that covers a lot of ground on the ice when in the butterfly. Koivu and Cullen both used that against him by forcing him to move and separate his legs.

Zach Parise got the scoring started by re-directing Suter's shot during a second period power play. Koivu and Suter both assisted on the goal to remain tied for the team lead in assists with 15.

Much was made about Niklas Backstrom and his ability to bounce back in starts after getting pulled in the previous outing. He is now 20-2-4 after being chased in his career following the shootout win.

David Legwand provided the only blemish on Backstrom's night by sweeping a pass from Sergei Kostitsyn over the goaltender's glove. Cal Clutterbuck nearly denied the cross-ice pass, but could only get his stick on the pass and not control it.

The goal came 35 seconds after Suter was assessed a roughing penalty for clearing out the front of the net.

Clutterbuck recorded eight hits in his first game back from a thigh contusion on Feb. 21.

Three Stars

No. 3 – Pekka Rinne. The Predators goaltender stopped 28 shots, including six in overtime.

No. 2 – Niklas Backstrom. The Wild goaltender stopped 23 shots and was successful on two shootout attempts.

No. 1 – Zach Parise. The Wild forward scored a power play goal.


Minnesota     0 1 0 0 – 2

Nashville     0 0 1 0 – 1

First Period – None. Penalties – Brodziak, Min (tripping), 12:26.

Second Period – 1, Minnesota, Parise 9 (Suter, Koivu), 9:01 (pp). Penalties – Legwand, Nash (goaltender interference), 1:48; Butler, Nash (hooking), 8:07; Mitchell, Min (roughing), 10:41; Fisher, Nash (roughing), 10:41; Bartley, Nash (holding), 16:10.

Third Period – 2, Nashville, Legwand 5 (Kostitsyn, Weber), 6:28 (pp). Penalties – Suter, Min (roughing), 5:53; Spaling, Nash (hooking), 10:53.

Overtime – None. Penalties – Rinne, Nash (delay of game), 1:34.

Shootout – Minnesota Parise (save), Koivu (goal), Cullen (goal). Nashville Bourque (save), Smith (goal), Legwand (missed).

Shots on goal – Minnesota 5-8-10-6 29. Nashville 9-6-9-1 24.

Goalies – Minnesota, Backstrom (23-24). Nashville, Rinne (28-29). Referees – Tim Peel, Chris Lee. Linesmen – Steve Barton, Greg Devorski.