Nashville 3, Minnesota 2
The Nashville Predators picked up their first win of the season against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night on a night of firsts for multiple Preds.
Minnesota opened the scoring just 4:05 into the game with a power-play goal from Zach Parise. Nashville responded with a five-on-three power-play goal of its own just 1:02 later, as rookie Filip Forsberg, fresh off a lower-body injury that held him out of the season’s first two games, buried a rebound past Niklas Backstrom for his first career goal. On the remaining power-play, Colin Wilson tallied his first goal of the season as he rifled a shot past Backstrom less than a minute after Forsberg’s tally. Wilson’s goal gave the Predators their first lead of the young 2013-14 season.
Just past the midway point of the first period, Eric Nystrom was slashed and hauled to the ice on a breakaway, resulting in his first career penalty shot attempt. Nystrom concerted the penalty shot for his first goal in a Preds sweater. Niklas Backstrom was injured on the play, so Nystrom faced Josh Harding on the penalty shot attempt. Nystrom’s attempt was the Predators first of the season and the ninth in franchise history (previously eight goals on 25 attempts).
Jared Spurgeon would tally another power-play goal for the Wild just 7:26 into the middle frame, but the 3-2 margin would remain at the final buzzer. Pekka Rinne turned aside 32-of-34 shots to record his first win of the season.
Two Big Things and Notes:
Rookies Make an Impact: Filip Forsberg earned First Star of the Game honors after tallying his goal and recording 15:38 of ice-time in his first game of the 2013-14 season. On the back end, Seth Jones led the team in ice-time (25:02) for the second consecutive game. Jones also picked up his first NHL point with the secondary assist on Forsberg goal. With his helper, he became the fourth player from the 2013 Entry Draft to earn a point this season (Nathan MacKinnon, Aleksander Barkov and Sean Monahan). In addition to his assist, Jones’ night also included six shot on goal and two blocked shots.
Preds Remain Strong on the Dot: Paul Gaustad continued his dominance in the face-off circle, winning 20-of-31 draws (65 percent) on the night. The Portland, Oregon native leads the League in face-off efficiency (71.6 percent) among players who have taken at least 50 draws this season. In addition to Gaustad’s face-off prowess, David Legwand (8 of 12) and Mike Fisher (10 of 17) were also above 50 percent on Tuesday night.
Rich Clune picked up his first penalty of the season with a fighting major at 2:59, and ended the game with nine penalty minutes total. Clune ranked fifth in the NHL last season with 113 penalty minutes.
Seven different Predators earned a point in the game.
All but three Predators recorded at least one shot on goal.
Nashville outhit Minnesota 25 to 14, and doubled up the Wild on blocked shots, 12 to 6.
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