Better late than never: Niederreiter nets OT game-winner in final pre-Olympic game


A back and forth affair at Xcel Energy Center needed overtime, but once there, Wild winger Nino Niederreiter fired one top shelf to give Minnesota a 3-2 win over Nashville Thursday.

Early offense was supplied by Jonas Brodin and Zach Parise, who both scored in the first period, with Nashville's Craig Smith also scoring in the opening frame.

Smith added another to even the contest in the second period, concluding scoring in regulation.

Niederreiter's lamp-lighter in overtime was his second point of the game, also notching an assist on Brodin's goal.

Darcy Kuemper once again started in net for Minnesota, Johan Gustafsson serving as his backup with Niklas Backstrom missing the contest with abdominal soreness, and he stopped 16 Predator shots, logging his eighth win of the season.

The win gives the Wild back-to-back victories heading into the three-week Olympic break, the first time they've won multiple games in a row since the middle of January.

Aside from Parise, Niederreiter, Ryan Suter, Mikael Granlund, and Mikko Koivu (?), who will be representing their respective countries at the Olympics, Minnesota will return to practice Feb. 19, their first game after the break coming Feb. 27 against Edmonton.

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