The Wild entered the game on a three-game win streak that included two shootout victories.
Two things have stood out for the Wild over the streak: 1) its first line of Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi and 2) the four games came against teams that are most likely going to make the playoffs.
The streak started with Koivu scoring 15 seconds into overtime against the Southeast Division-leading Florida Panthers and continued with shootout victories over the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Kings and Western Conference No. 6 playoff seed Chicago Blackhawks. The Predators, who ended the streak, are sitting as the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference after the win.
The Wild (34-35-11) finish its regular season Thursday and Saturday against the Blackhawks and Western Conference No. 7 seed Phoenix Coyotes.
The Predators (46-26-8) got the only goal of the shootout from Alexander Radulov in the second round.
Heatley got the game to overtime by tying it at 1-1 late in the second period. He redirected a shot by Nate Prosser past Anders Lindback. Koivu recorded the second assist by passing a rebound off a shot by Setoguchi that rang the crossbar.
Gabriel Bourque scored the game’s first goal after Clayton Stoner was unable to handle a pass from Koivu. The loose puck eventually ended up on Nick Spaling’s stick who slid a pass across the top of the crease to Bourque.
Niklas Backstrom lost for the first time in three starts (2-0-1) since suffering a lower-body injury in Montreal on Mar. 1.
No. 3 – Gabriel Bourque. The Predators forward scored a goal.
No. 2 – Alexander Radulov. The Predators forward scored the shootout winner.
No. 1 – Dany Heatley. The Wild forward scored a goal.
Minnesota 0 1 0 0 – 1
Nashville 0 1 0 0 – 2
First Period – None. Penalties – Suter, Nash (cross checking), 7:25; Falk, Min (interference), 10:56; Christensen, Min (roughing), 16:42; Yip, Nash (roughing), 16:42; Legwand, Nash (interference), 18:53.
Second Period – 1, Nashville, Bourque 7 (Spaling), 12:31. 2, Minnesota, Heatley 23 (Prosser, Koivu), 17:53. Penalties – None.
Third Period – None. Penalties – Erat, Nash (tripping), :42; Ortmeyer, Min (diving), 11:54; Spaling, Nash (hooking), 11:54; A. Kostitsyn, Nash (tripping), 19:48.
Overtime – None. Penalties – None.
Shootout – Minnesota Christensen (miss), Koivu (save), Setoguchi (save). Nashville Erat (save), Radulov (goal).
Shots on goal – Minnesota 12-5-7-2 26. Nashville 10-6-7-1 24.
Goalies – Minnesota, Backstrom (23-24). Nashville, Lindback (25-26). A – N/A. Referees – Ghislain Hebert, Dave Jackson. Linesmen – Don Henderson, Tony Sericolo.