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Predators hand Wild first home loss of the season

Nov 5, 2006 - 3:43 AM ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Defenseman Shea Weber and Steve Sullivan found the magic formula to solve the Minnesota Wild's home dominance.

Weber snapped a third-period tie and Sullivan had a goal and an assist as the Nashville Predators won their seventh straight road contest with a 4-3 victory over the Wild.

Extending its overall winning streak to five, Nashville avenged a 6-5 loss here on October 7, a game that saw Minnesota score five power-play goals. The Predators were much better Saturday in sending the Wild to their first loss in nine home outings this season.

"We were a lot better 5-on-5 (compared to the last meeting)," Predators left wing Paul Kariya said. "Our power play still has some work to do, but we're scoring 5-on-5 and that helps a lot when you are playing on the road."

"We got of to a slow start at the beginning of the year, but we picked it up as of late and we've had some good road trips," Nashville center Jason Arnott said. "We're just having a lot of fun."

Weber broke a 3-3 tie at 3:34 of the third period with a wrister from the slot that beat goaltender Manny Fernandez to the stick side for his second goal in as many games.

"That's where I was shooting," Weber said. "(Sullivan) made a great play coming across, dropping the puck, and (I) shot it and fortunately it went in."

The Wild initially tied the game with 8:52 left in the second session when Mikko Koivu made a backpass from behind the net to Mark Parrish, who found an opening between netminder Tomas Vokoun's pads from the right faceoff circle. It was his third goal of the season.

"I don't think anybody in here was worried about a win streak," Parrish said. "Our goal is to win every game. Nobody was really paying attention to a win streak at home. We want to win every game whether it's here or on the road."

Kariya netted his third tally of the campaign by successfully converting Martin Erat's setup feed with a one-timer from the slot at 9:24 of the middle session to give the Predators a 3-2 advantage.

Sullivan netted his fifth of the season from the doorstep at 4:49 of the first period by taking Vernon Fiddler's centering feed from behind the net and finding the top left corner to tie the score, 1-1.

"We're playing with confidence," Sullivan said. "I don't think it was our best effort tonight, but we stayed with it. We stayed tough. ... We were able to weather the storm tonight."

Captain Kimmo Timonen scored his second tally of the campaign and Vokoun stopped 25 shots for the Predators, including a left pad save on Brian Rolston's breakaway at 5:54 of the third period.

"I felt pretty fortunate that we got through the first two periods tied," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "I thought the third period, we picked it up and played much better. Tomas made a huge save on Rolston on the breakaway."

Pavol Demitra netted his third tally of the season, defenseman Petteri Nummelin added his first and Fernandez made 17 saves for the Wild, who lost for just the third time in 13 games overall.

"They are a good skating team, a good puck-control team, so they are good on the rush," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "If you make a mistake by pinching and giving up an odd-man rush, you are in trouble, and I think that's where we paid the price tonight."

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