Lopsided 3rd period the difference as Wild drops season opener in Nashville

Nashville scored four times in the final period.
Publish date:
Eric Staal, Wild

One game is in the books as the Minnesota Wild opened the season with a 5-2 road loss to the Nashville Predators Thursday night. 

The Wild was able to hold off a potent Predators offense for a scoreless first period, then took a 2-1 with two goals in a 43-second span late in the second period. 

Minnesota's first goal came came on the power play when Brad Hunt's shot from the point deflected off Jason Zucker's sleeve and found the corner of the net to tie the game 1-1. 

Forty-three seconds later the Wild struck again when Matt Dumba snapped a shot past goalie Pekke Rinne for a 2-1 Wild lead. 

It was Dumba's first game after he injured his shoulder in December last season. At the time he was injured, Dumba led all NHL defensemen with 12 goals, so he hasn't missed a beat. 

The Wild's lead was short-lived. Just 27 seconds into the third period, Mikael Granlund – traded from Minnesota to Nashville last season – deflected a shot past Devan Dubnyk to tie the score 2-2. 

Eighty-nine seconds later it was 3-2 Nashville, and they'd add another goal with just over seven minutes to play to turn a tight game into a blowout. An empty-netter with under two minutes to play made it a 5-2 laugher. 

“We played a solid game,” Wild forward Mats Zuccarello said, via ESPN. “We created a bunch of chances. We could have scored two, three more goals, but that’s hockey for you. A few mistakes ended up in the back of the net and that’s the game.”

Despite the loss, Dubnyk already has a nomination for the save of the year. It came in the opening period when he robbed Granlund of what should've been an easy goal. 

Next Up