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Hodgson helps Predators defeat Wild; Parise injured

by Dan Myers /

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Forward Cody Hodgson picked a good time to score his first goal with the Nashville Predators.

Hodgson's goal with 5:21 remaining in the third period helped the Predators to a 3-2 win against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.

With the game tied at 2-2, Hodgson took a shot from the right circle that was stopped by Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk. The puck rolled around in Dubnyk's equipment, but there was no whistle. The puck landed on the ice between his legs and Hodgson poked it into the net.

"The puck just dropped below his pads and I was able to jam it in," Hodgson said. "I think more importantly, it was the way we battled at the end there."

Dubnyk thought there would be a whistle. When he moved, the puck fell to the ice for Hodgson to tap in.

"Just like that, a hard-fought, 60-minute game and it's over," Dubnyk said. "It's disappointing to have it go that way."

The victory capped a four-game road trip for the Predators where they went 2-1-1. The game was Nashville's first against a Central Division opponent.

"It's one of many, but it's a good way to start in the division," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "There wasn't a lot of room out there. You just had to grind it out."

Minnesota (7-3-2) was defeated on home ice for the first time this season and may be without forward Zach Parise for some time. He sustained a lower-body injury on the second shift of the game and did not play in the second and third periods.

Coach Mike Yeo has already ruled him out for the game Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Yeo said a further update would be provided on Friday.

"Bottom line is, we're losing Zach and we're probably going to lose some offense," Yeo said. "Some guys are going to have to step up for sure."

With Parise as well as defenseman Nate Prosser, who missed the third period with a lower-body injury, missing time, Minnesota was forced to mix and match their forward lines and defensive pairings.

"Chaos," Wild defenseman Ryan Suter said. "There were a lot of whistles and everyone was with everyone. There was a lot going on and it was a tough game to get into with all the whistles."

Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne stopped 27 shots for his seventh win in 10 starts.

Dubnyk finished with 21 saves. The Wild pulled him for an extra attacker with 2:05 remaining and had 1:39 of power-play time to end the game but was unable to tie the score.

Minnesota scored twice with the man-advantage earlier in the game but never led.

Nashville (8-2-2) scored late in the second period, taking advantage of a slow line change by Minnesota. Defenseman Shea Weber retrieved the puck in his own end and hit forward Mike Fisher with a long outlet pass. Fisher skated in alone and beat Dubnyk blocker side for his second at 16:06 to give the Predators a 1-0 lead.

Less than two minutes later, Wild defenseman Marco Scandella tied it at 1-1 on a snap shot under Rinne's blocker at 17:36.

Defenseman Roman Josi gave the Predators the lead 12 seconds into the third period, intercepting an errant clearing attempt and firing a shot through traffic. The goal extended Josi's point streak to four games.

Matt Dumba scored a power-play goal at 6:51 to tie the game at 2-2.

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