NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Minnesota
(Saturday, October 7th)
Final Score: Minnesota 6, Nashville 5
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Brian Rolston scored the game-winning goal with 1:11 left in the third period, and added a pair of assists, to lift the Minnesota Wild over the Nashville Predators 6-5 at the Xcel Energy Center.
Pavol Demitra and Marian Gaborik had a goal and an assist for the Wild, who won their second straight. Mark Parrish, Mikko Koivu and Todd White also scored for Minnesota, which has never won back-to-back games to begin a season. Rookie Niklas Backstrom stopped 17 shots in his first NHL game and starter Manny Fernandez, who was pulled at the first intermission, blocked eight.
"Offensively, the power play gave us life," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "The guys are playing better, and felt like we had a chance to win."
Steve Sullivan scored a goal with two assists for the Predators, who lost their second straight. Mikko Lehtonen, Scott Hartnell, Marek Zidlicky and Martin Erat notched the other goals in defeat. Tomas Vokoun saved 28-of-34 shots.
"I don't care who you play," Vokoun said. "You just can't win like that. If you have the best 12 best forwards in the league, you're not going to win with that kind of hockey."
Minnesota got the game-winner with just 1:11 left, as Pierre-Marc Bouchard hooked up with Rolston, who lifted a wrister past Vokoun.
Nashville got ahead early. Lehtonen scored on a slap shot just 1:41 into the first. Sullivan followed with an unassisted backhander a tick under four minutes into the first.
Minnesota responded on the power play with a pair of goals to tie the score, 2-2. With 6:54 into the period, Demitra scored on a snap shot, and Gaborik later scored on a wrister 9:01 into the period.
Just over a minute later, Nashville took the lead on a snap shot by Hartnell on the power play.
Minnesota re-tied the score, 3-3, as Parrish tipped in a shot on the power play 14:55 into the second period. The Wild scored 1:53 into the third on a wrister by Koivu on the power play to edge a 4-3 lead.
Nashville answered with a slap shot scored by Zidlicky 5:21 into the period, but White tipped in a shot for Minnesota about three minutes later for another one-goal lead.
Nashville tied the score, 5-5, on a wrap-around shot by Erat glove side for his first goal of the season 10:34 into the third.
Minnesota scored a team-record five power-play goals on eight attempts. Nashville went 2-for-7 on the power play...The Wild and Predators split four meetings last season. Nashville is 9-7-5 all-time against Minnesota.
10/07 23:21:17 ET