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                       === Mason, Predators tame Wild ===
 
 St.  Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Martin Erat scored the game-winner just after
 the  midway point of the third period, and Chris Mason stopped 29 shots as the
 Nashville  Predators  claimed a  3-1 victory  over the  Minnesota Wild at Xcel
 Energy Center.
 
 Nick  Spaling and  David Legwand also tallied for the Predators, who snapped a
 two-game slide to begin the season.
 
 "We  had a  little bit of a slow start,  but as the game went on we started to
 get  better and better," said Spaling. "We just have to work on putting a full
 game together."
 
 Dany Heatley provided the lone score for the Wild, as Minnesota's two-game win
 streak came to a halt. Niklas Backstrom made 23 saves in defeat.
 
 Erat's  deciding score  came during a 4-on-4. Backstrom moved to try and clear
 the  puck up  the right-wing side, but  the veteran was able to swoop in, snag
 the  disc, and  slide a backhander home  for a 2-1 lead with 8:15 remaining in
 regulation.
 
 "I  don't know  if I would do it  different because I got to the puck first. I
 just  have  to beat him  getting it to the  outside," Backstrom said about the
 play.
 
 Backstrom  was pulled  for an  extra  skater inside  the final  minute, but  a
 Minnesota  comeback  was thwarted  when Pierre-Marc  Bouchard was whistled for
 slashing with 24 seconds to play.
 
 Legwand then tallied seven seconds later to seal it for the visitors.
 
 Heatley opened the scoring for the hosts just after the six-minute mark of the
 first period when his long shot sailed through traffic and past Mason. Spaling
 equalized  for the visitors  with 3 1/2 minutes left in the period, picking up
 the rebound of a Kevin Klein point drive.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Nashville  has  won seven of the  last nine meetings with Minnesota, including
 three  of  four a season ago  ... Zach Parise has  four points (1G, 3A) in his
 first three games for the Wild.
 
 01/23 01:14:35 ET