Two third-period goals lift Predators to first victory of the season

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 9:55pm
Staff reports

Nick Spaling had a goal and an assist, and Martin Erat scored unassisted as the Nashville Predators rallied for their first victory of the season, 3-1 over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

The game was the Predators’ third in four days to open the season, their first on the road and their first against former Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter, who signed with Minnesota as a free agent during the offseason.

They overcame all of that with 29 saves from goalie Chris Mason, who last played for the Predators in 2007-08. One of Nashville’s free agent signings last offseason, he earned his 60th career victory for the franchise, his first since April 1, 2008.

Erat’s goal with 8:12 to play broke a 1-1 tie that stood for nearly two full periods. He missed an opportunity for a breakaway when Wild goalie Nicklas Backstrom beat him to a loose puck just inside the Minnesota blue line. Erat intercepted Backstrom’s attempted pass, though, and carried the puck into the open net.

David Legwand capped the scoring with a power play goal with 17 seconds to play. Spaling had the lone assist on Legwand’s goal and tied it 1-1 with his first, 3:29 to play before the first intermission.

Minnesota, which won its first two contests, took an early lead on Dany Heatley’s goal 6:02 into the contest.

Suter led all Minnesota players with 26:56 of ice time but had just one shot, one blocked shot and a minus-2 rating.

• Briefly: Left wing Gabriel Bourque was recalled from Milwaukee prior to the contest and played 14:15 in his season debut. He finished with a plus-1 rating. … Center Paul Gaustad (upper body injury) missed his second straight game. 

2 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 1/22/13 at 11:32

This was a Chris Mason victory. Pikka Rinne turned in two performances just above community league hockey against St.Louis and Columbus.

By: TITAN1 on 1/23/13 at 6:58

Congrats, Preds!