The Wild left Bridgestone Arena in Nashville with a 4-2 loss Monday night, but they also left the arena hopeful that a sluggish start to the season is behind them.
"It looked like the team I'm used to coaching effort-wise," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "We made a couple mistakes, and when you do that against that team, it costs you. But I thought for a team that was pressing, we had the puck in their zone the whole third period. Like I said to the guys in there, if you continue to play like that, you'll win a lot of hockey games."
Minnesota has come out slow to start every game this season, essentially backing itself into a corner and being forced to play catch-up. Monday's effort was solid most of the night, but a breakaway goal by Filip Forsberg midway through the second period gave the Predators a 3-1 lead that the Wild couldn't overcome.
But again, the Wild found positives in the loss.
In Saturday's overtime loss to Carolina the Wild were out-shot 57-23. In this loss, the Wild won the shots battle 31-28, although goalie Pekke Rinne's 30 saves were better than Alex Stalock's 24.
"Frustrating anytime, especially you saw our third period. Frustrating when you outplay them like that and the puck doesn't find the back of the net," said Stalock. "We had a lot of good looks, but their goalie made the last save tonight and came down to he made the breakaway save and I didn't."
Mikko Koivu and Matt Dumba scored for the Wild, and Koivu thought the 60-minute effort was a "step in the right direction."
The Wild are now 1-2-2 with a chance to even their record Tuesday night at 7:10 p.m. when they host the Arizona Coyotes.