The Nashville Predators were unable to come back from a first-period deficit, as they fell to the Minnesota Wild by a 5-2 final on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. The loss bumps Nashville's record to 13-12-4 overall, just its third regulation defeat at home this season.
With the exception of a lapse late in the first period, in which the Wild took a 3-1 lead with two goals in less than 30 seconds, Nashville gave a strong effort, registering 36 shots on the night and creating quality scoring chances, but it wasn't enough.
"It's a tough way to play the game," Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "You're fortunate when you bail out of it at 3-0, 3-1 this time, against one of the teams that gives up the least amount of goals. It's not going to be an easy task. We couldn't pull it off."
Video: NSH Recap: Preds can't complete comeback in 5-2 loss
As the second period began, it looked as though the Preds might stage their second come-from-behind win in as many games. Mike Fisher scored a power-play goal in the middle frame and the Predators continued to outshoot and out chance Minnesota through the remainder of the contest.
But the Preds were unable to get a third goal past Devan Dubnyk, and the Wild added two empty-netters late in the game to seal the victory, their sixth in a row.
Video: Ellis and Fisher discuss frustrating effort vs. Wild
"I liked our effort in the second and third," defenseman Ryann Ellis said. "We got some shots to the net, good chances and had zone time, but that's a good team over there. They're good right now for a reason, and we've got to tighten the first period up, especially."
Nashville now turns their attention to Saturday night and the New York Rangers, one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
Video: Laviolette expresses frustration after early deficit
"There's a lot of positives out there in the second and third, but the first periods, they have to stop the way they're going right now," Ellis said. "Really, it's what killed us there. But if we can play like we did in the second and third in the first, we'll be a really good team."
With an assist on Ryan Ellis's goal, Viktor Arvidsson extended his career-high point streak to five games (2g-4a).
Mike Fisher's goal was his 99th in a Preds uniform. He has scored three goals in a two-game span for the first time since Dec. 28-30, 2013.
The Predators conclude their three-game home stand on Saturday night when they host the New York Rangers at Bridgestone Arena.