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game recap

Predators score four straight in third, defeat Wild in season opener

Duchene has three assists in Nashville debut; Ellis, Forsberg each has two points

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Granlund's low tip-in goal

MIN@NSH: Granlund tips one at the doorstep

Mikael Granlund camps out down low and tips home a heavy point blast from Roman Josi, tying it at 2 early in the 3rd

  • 00:55 •

NASHVILLE -- Matt Duchene had three assists in his debut with the Nashville Predators, a 5-2 win against the Minnesota Wild in the season opener for each team at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

The Predators trailed 2-1 after the second period but scored four straight goals in the third, when Nashville's Pekka Rinne made 12 of his 22 saves.

"Even when we were down 2-1, I don't think we ever thought we weren't going to win the game," said Duchene, who signed a seven-year contract with the Predators on July 1. "Start to finish, we were the better team. ... We had everyone going, every line was going."

 

[WATCH: All Wild vs. Predators highlights]

 

Jason Zucker and Matt Dumba scored for the Wild, and Devan Dubnyk made 27 saves.

"Really tough," Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Definite mistakes on each one of those goals that we either went over or we should have enough experience to know what to do in that situation."

Former Wild forward Mikael Granlund redirected Roman Josi's shot to tie the game 2-2 27 seconds into the third.

Austin Watson gave the Predators a 3-2 lead at 1:56 when he redirected Ryan Ellis' shot while falling to the ice in the slot.

Video: MIN@NSH: Watson nets difficult redirection

Viktor Arvidsson scored on the rebound of a Craig Smith shot to make it 4-2 at 7:32.

"I thought that [coach Peter Laviolette] woke us up at the second intermission," Rinne said. "He wasn't happy with the second period. We really stepped it up in the third, and guys did a great job. Obviously, four goals in the third, that's huge."

Filip Forsberg scored an empty-net goal with 1:26 remaining for the 5-2 final.

"I thought we got better every period, and we got rewarded at the end of the day," Duchene said. "This is a veteran team in here. This is a team that's played a lot of big games and guys that know how to win games. I think we just played a mature game and we didn't change a thing."

Video: MIN@NSH: Arvidsson sweeps home rebound in slot

Ellis gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 3:37 of the second period. Forsberg put the puck toward the net, and it deflected off Ellis. Duchene got an assist for his first point with the Predators.

Zucker tied it 1-1 with a power-play goal at 16:04 when he redirected Brad Hunt's shot.

Dumba gave the Wild a 2-1 lead 43 seconds later when he scored on a wrist shot from the top of the right face-off circle at 16:47.

"It was nice," said Dumba, who missed the final 50 games last season following surgery for a ruptured right pectoralis muscle. "I haven't done that in a while. But yeah, I don't know. Not really thinking about that. This third period kind of puts a damper on everything."

Video: MIN@NSH: Dumba goes top shelf to take the lead

 

They said it

"I had high expectations, but I came in trying to stay even-keeled. It's blown my expectations out of the water. I haven't even got to do a quarter of what I've wanted to do around the city yet, but as a team, this is exactly the team, tonight, that I wanted to come and join. This decision to come here was hockey first all the way. That was so much fun for me to play with a team like that tonight." -- Predators forward Matt Duchene

"We didn't get much through. It starts off when you take two penalties in the first [5:52]. All of a sudden, they're outshooting you 9-0 or 9-1. It looks a little worse than it is at that stage. When we started doing what we were supposed to do, we were creating opportunities. We were just giving the puck away too much in the neutral zone to that team, and that's what they thrive on." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

 

Need to know

Forward Mats Zuccarello had one shot on goal and was minus-3 in 16:07 in his Wild debut after agreeing to a five-year contract July 1. ... Smith's assist on Arvidsson's goal was his 300th NHL point.

 

What's next

Wild: At the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday (9 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, ALT, NHL.TV)

Predators: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-D, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Video: Predators ride four-goal 3rd to 5-2 win against Wild

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