|Date of game: 1/10/2015
Recap: Minnesota vs. Nashville
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Pekka Rinne came up with 36 saves while Calle Jarnkrok and Colin Wilson scored in the third period and Nashville took out Minnesota by a 3-1 count at Xcel Energy Center.
Mike Fisher added an early score for the Predators, who reclaimed the top spot in the Western Conference with 60 points, two ahead of idle Anaheim.
"We're going to have our off-nights, but when we have those kind of games we still find a way to win. That's why we're at where we're at," Wilson said.
Charlie Coyle potted the lone goal for the Wild, who have dropped four in a row and three straight on home ice. Niklas Backstrom made 24 stops in the loss.
"When you're losing games the way we are, everything is an issue," said embattled Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo. "It's been something different every game. We're just spinning our tires."
Minnesota's Zach Parise returned after a two-game absence to deal with the death of his father, former NHLer J.P. Parise, who died Wednesday at the age of 73 from cancer.
Jarnkrok gave Nashville the lead for good at 3:48 of the third by cleaning up an Olli Jokinen rebound, and Wilson's backhander in the slot off a Minnesota turnover gave the visitors a 3-1 edge at 8:47.
"It was just a bad bounce. I'm going to try that play every single time. It was just a bad break," said Wild defenseman Justin Faulk, guilty of the miscue.
Rinne backed up that margin with 14 third-period saves.
The game was not without controversy in the late going. Wild forward Matt Cooke cross-checked Predators defenseman Shea Weber in his face shield during a scrum with 2:05 left in regulation. When Weber dropped the gloves, Cooke provided no resistance, though both were given fighting majors.
Fisher put the Preds on the board at 4:01 of the first with a backhander that grazed the crossbar before settling over the goal line, then Coyle equalized at 14:14 for the Wild by converting a Christian Folin centering pass.
Both goaltenders stopped nine shots in a scoreless second frame.Game Notes
Nashville returns home on Tuesday to face the Canucks, while Minnesota begins
a three-game road trip at Chicago on Sunday ... The Wild fell to 1-3-4 since
Dec. 17 on home ice ... Rinne and Weber were tabbed to represent the Predators
in the All-Star Game, scheduled for Jan. 25 in Columbus.