EditorsNote: 4th graf, restore dropped word ‘in’ before ‘his first appearance’; rewording to 7th graf
Ryan Johansen scored in the fourth round of the shootout as the visiting Nashville Predators skated to a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday in St. Paul, Minn., in the opener of a home-and-home series.
Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis scored in the second round before Minnesota’s Zach Parise sent a backhander between the pads of Juuse Saros in the third to extend the shootout. Johansen ended the contest after slowly skating in on Alex Stalock before backhanding the puck inside the left post.
Filip Forsberg scored and Nick Bonino snapped a 15-game goal drought as the Predators salvaged the finale of their three-game road trip to remain one point behind first-place Winnipeg in the Central Division. Saros turned aside 24 shots to improve to 7-3-1 in his last 12 appearances.
Jason Zucker and Eric Fehr each scored late in the second period for the Wild, who saw their five-game winning streak come to a halt. Stalock finished with 41 saves in his first start since a 4-0 setback versus St. Louis on Feb. 17.
After Fehr forged a 1-1 tie by scoring on a breakaway with 3:25 remaining in the second, the Wild claimed the lead with 38 seconds left in the period.
Eric Staal skated along the blue line before feeding Ryan Suter, who cut into the left circle. The former Predators defenseman set up Zucker, whose one-timer sailed under the crossbar for his 17th goal of the season and his third during his five-game point streak.
The slim advantage held up late in the third. Kyle Turris’ blast was denied by Stalock, but Forsberg backhanded the loose puck home with 4:19 left.
Nashville opened the scoring after rugged forward Wayne Simmonds skated out from in back of the net and unleashed a shot that caromed off Minnesota defenseman Anthony Bitetto. The puck squirted to Bonino, who made no mistake from the left doorstep at 5:21 of the first period for his first goal since Jan. 23.
Three-time Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn dropped the ceremonial puck prior to the contest. A St. Paul native, Vonn is the girlfriend of Predators defenseman P.K. Subban.
—Field Level Media