LW Thomas Vanek scored the game-tying goal with 48 seconds remaining in regulation before the Wild fell to Nashville in overtime, 6-5, Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd of 19,017 at Xcel Energy Center. LW Zach Parise scored twice for Minnesota while LW Jason Zucker, D Marco Scandella and LW Thomas Vanek each scored for the Wild. G Darcy Kuemper started the game, making 11 saves in one period of play while G Niklas Backstrom made 27 saves in relief. Minnesota next hosts Philadelphia for its final game before the holiday break, Tuesday at 6 p.m. CT on FOX Sports North PLUS and KFAN 100.3 FM.
The Wild killed three of the four Predators power-play chances. Minnesota has killed 52-of-60 (86.7%) of opponent power-play opportunities combined in the last 19 games dating back to Nov. 8. Over the last 17 games, the Wild’s power play has outscored its opponents’ man advantage 12-7.
Eight of the last 12 games between the Wild and Predators have been decided by one goal. Minnesota is the only NHL team to score five goals against Pekka Rinne all year. Overall, the Wild’s last nine games have been decided by one goal, except for Chicago’s 5-3 victory Tuesday where they scored an empty-net goal.
LW Zach Parise earned his 32nd career three-point game (2-1=3) and his 36th career two-goal game. He has points in nine of his last 13 games, totaling (7-7=14) in that span. He leads the Wild with 26 points (13-13=26) in 26 games. Of his 26 contests this year, he has registered at least one point in 16 games – seven of those being multi-point games. Minnesota is 5-1-1 when he nets two-or-more points in a single game.
LW Jason Zucker scored the game’s first goal 1:10 after opening faceoff. He has eight points (6-2=8) in the last 12 games. The Wild is 7-2-1 when he scores this year, including five straight. Since Nov. 20, he ranks T-6th in the NHL with seven goals. He has already set career highs in goals (12) and points (16) this year.
RW Jason Pominville used two assists to record his 130th career multi-point game. He has posted points in nine of his last 12 games, totaling 11 points (3-8=11) in that span. He ranks second on the Wild with 23 points (7-16=23) in 31 games this season and leads the team in shots (164).
C Mikko Koivu tallied the secondary assist on Zucker’s goal. He has points in nine of his last 12 games (Nov. 24), totaling 11 points (3-8=11) in that time. He leads the Wild with 32 points (7-25=32) in 31 career games against Nashville.
LW Thomas Vanek netted a goal and an assist to register his 143rd career multi-point game. He has six points (3-3=6) in his last six games and ranks T-2nd on the team with 15 assists this season.
C Charlie Coyle recorded his seventh career multi-point game with two assists - second this season. He has tallied at least three hits in 10 of the last 14 games, totaling 42 in that span. He leads the Wild with 65 hits and has 13 points (2-11=13) in 31 games.
D Marco Scandella earned his fifth career multi-point game, fourth this season (1-1=2). He ranks T-6th amongst NHL defensemen with seven goals this year. He has 12 points (7-5=12) in 26 games.
D Ryan Suter used two assists to register his 56th career multi-point game. He skated his ninth 30-plus minute game with 31:27 tonight. He leads the Wild in assists and has 21 points (1-20=21) in 29 games. He has led all skaters - Wild and opponents – in all but two of his 29 games this season.
G Darcy Kuemper made 11 saves through the first period. G Niklas Backstrom stopped 27-of-30 shots in relief to earn the overtime loss.
D Mattias Ekholm scored the overtime winner for Nashville as C Jalle Jarnkrok, C Matt Cullen, C Craig Smith, C Filip Forsberg and D Roman Josi each scored for the Predators. G Pekka Rinne made 22 saves through overtime.