EditorsNote: Edit 1: Deleted extra word in second graf.
Mikael Granlund, Austin Watson, Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg scored third-period goals, and Pekka Rinne made 22 saves as the Nashville Predators rallied to defeat the visiting Minnesota Wild 5-2 Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.
Ryan Ellis had a goal and an assist, and Matt Duchene added three assists for the two-time defending Central Division champion Predators. Nashville earned its sixth consecutive win over the Wild dating back to March 2018.
Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker scored goals, and Devan Dubnyk finished with 27 saves for Minnesota, which took a 2-1 lead into the final period.
Nashville dominated a scoreless first period, outshooting the Wild 14-6 while taking the first 10 shots of the period in the process. The Predators put the puck in the net at the 6:55 mark on the power play when Granlund batted in a rebound of a Craig Smith shot from the left side of the crease. However, the goal was overturned when replay showed Granlund’s stick was above the crossbar.
The Predators took a 1-0 lead early in the second period when Forsberg’s centering pass ricocheted off Ellis’ skate and past Dubnyk.
Minnesota rebounded to take a 2-1 lead later in the period with two goals in the span of 43 seconds. The first came on the power play at 16:04 when Brad Hunt’s blast from the right point redirected off the stick of Nashville’s Nick Bonino and then bounced off Zucker’s elbow into the net.
Dumba then gave the Wild the lead when he rifled a wrist shot from the top of the slot past a screen by Joel Eriksson Ek and under the crossbar.
Nashville tied it 2-2 just 27 seconds into the third period when Granlund redirected a Roman Josi shot through Dubnyk’s pads, the first of three Predators goals in the span of 7:05. Watson then scored what proved to be the game-winner when he deflected an Ellis shot past Dubnyk while getting knocked to the ice in front of the crease.
After Rinne stopped Zucker on a breakaway, Arvidsson upped Nashville’s lead to 4-2 with a rebound in the slot of a Smith shot at 7:32.
Minnesota pulled Dubnyk with 2:10 remaining, and Forsberg sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 1:26 to go.
—Field Level Media