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Wild down Predators for 5th straight victory

Nov 24, 2011 - 4:43 AM St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Cal Clutterbuck netted the eventual game- winning goal in the third period and Josh Harding stopped 23 shots as the Minnesota Wild held off the Nashville Predators, 3-2, at Xcel Energy Center.

Kyle Brodziak and Dany Heatley scored, while Mikko Koivu added a pair of assists for the Wild, who have won five consecutive games and improved to an NHL-best 13-5-3 this season.

"It was a real strong game on our part, from start to finish," Wild head coach Mike Yeo said.

Jordin Tootoo had a goal and an assist, while Ryan Suter netted the other goal for Nashville, which has dropped three straight games.

With Minnesota holding a 2-1 lead late in the third period, Clutterbuck cemented the win while shorthanded.

The Wild sent the puck the length of the ice on a clear and Clutterbuck, who was lingering in the neutral zone, chased it down. He caught a huge break when Pekka Rinne came out slightly to play the puck but fell down, allowing Clutterbuck to pop it into the open net at 13:19.

"I just came out to play the puck and it kind of stopped, and I changed my mind and fell down," Rinne, who made 27 saves, said. "I lost the game for us."

Nashville made it a one-goal game just 38 seconds later during a 5-on-3 power play, when Martin Erat passed to Tootoo along the goal line. Tootoo found Suter in the slot and the big forward fired it past Harding.

The Predators elected to pull Rinne with under a minute to go. They got some good shots on Harding in the final moments, but the netminder stood tall and made Clutterbuck's goal hold up as the winner.

Nashville opened the scoring at 5:21 of the opening period when Tootoo picked up a loose puck in the right corner, walked out front and chipped it past Harding for the 1-0 lead.

After a scoreless second stanza, Minnesota took control by scoring three consecutive goals.

Heatley tied it at 1:05 of the third period when he accepted a great pass in the slot from Koivu and one-timed it into an open net.

The Wild took the lead with the power play at 9:39 of the final stanza, when Brodziak received a smooth cross-ice pass from Matt Cullen and slapped it through Rinne's legs from the left circle.

Game Notes

Minnesota is 7-0-1 against the Central Division this season...It was the third time this season Minnesota has won when trailing after two periods...Earlier in the day, the Wild recalled goalie Matt Hackett from the Houston Aeros of the AHL, they also signed 51-year old goalie Paul Deutsch to an amateur tryout. Deutsch was to serve as the emergency backup in case Hackett's plane did not arrive in St. Paul in time for the game.

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    Predators 2, Wild 3  FinalDec 2 1:27 PM


    Nov 23 10:38 PM
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    Predators 2, Wild 3  3rd - 3:20Nov 23 10:33 PM

  • Nashville Power-Play Goal - Ryan Suter (5), from Jordin Tootoo and Martin Erat at 13:57.

    Predators 2, Wild 3  3rd - 6:03Nov 23 10:27 PM

  • Minnesota Short-Handed Goal - Cal Clutterbuck (5), from Mikko Koivu at 13:19.

    Predators 1, Wild 3  3rd - 6:41Nov 23 10:20 PM

  • Minnesota Power-Play Goal - Kyle Brodziak (5), from Matt Cullen and Marco Scandella at 9:39.

    Predators 1, Wild 2  3rd - 10:21Nov 23 10:12 PM
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    Predators 1, Wild 2  3rd - 10:21Nov 23 10:12 PM
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    Predators 1, Wild 1  3rd - 15:32Nov 23 10:03 PM

  • Minnesota Goal - Dany Heatley (6), from Mikko Koivu and Devin Setoguchi at 1:05.

    Predators 1, Wild 1  3rd - 18:55Nov 23 9:57 PM
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    Predators 1, Wild 1  3rd - 18:55Nov 23 9:57 PM

    End of 2nd

    Nov 23 9:38 PM

    End of 1st

    Nov 23 8:44 PM

  • Nashville Goal - Jordin Tootoo (2), at 5:21.

    Predators 1, Wild 0  1st - 14:39Nov 23 8:16 PM

    1st Period - 20:00

    Nov 23 8:08 PM
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    Predators vs. WildJun 24 6:02 AM