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Wild falls to Columbus in preseason opener, 3-1

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The NHL season is officially underway in Minnesota as the Wild opened up preseason play with a loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-1 Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center.

Minnesota's lone goal came from newcomer Nino Niederreiter.

The former top-five pick of the New York Islanders backhanded a puck into the net during a power play midway through the second period. Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund assisted on the goal.

Niklas Backstrom allowed three goals before being replaced by Darcy Kuemper in the second period.

None of Minnesota's big name players suited up for this one. Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Mikko Koivu, Jonas Brodin, Dany Heatley and Jason Pominville will likely play later in the preseason.

The Wild outshot the Jackets, 21-17.

Note: Jason Zucker left the game with an injury. Michael Russo says he tweaked his groin on his first shift of the game.

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