The home team scored four unanswered goals as the Nashville Predators fell to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center. The 4-1 loss is the second consecutive defeat in regulation for the Preds, bringing their franchise-record road win and point streaks of nine and 15 games to a close.
Nashville took a 1-0 lead to open the contest, but the Wild took over from there, as the Preds got away from their game, allowing Minnesota to come away with two points.
“We weren’t good,” Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “[As the game went on] we got worse.”
“The first period was good… We just didn’t play up to our potential the last two periods, for whatever reason,” Nashville Captain Roman Josi said.
Ryan Johansen gave the Predators a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes when he followed up his own rebound and beat Devan Dubnyk for his 13th of the season, but goals from Joel Eriksson Ek and Nino Niederreiter in the second stanza saw Minnesota take their first lead of the evening.
Jason Zucker gave the Wild a two-goal advantage early in the third, and Zach Parise iced it to hand the Predators just their second regulation loss on the road in the 2018 calendar year.
“We started the game really well and dictated the pace, and then for whatever reason got away from it,” Johansen said. “We took a few too many penalties… but we have to stay out the box and have better discipline. We’ll look at [the video], but we just have to play like we did in the first and we got away from it a little bit, so it’s frustrating.”
The Predators have little time to dwell on Saturday’s loss, as they get set to face the Jets, the club challenging Nashville for the Central Division crown, on Sunday evening in Winnipeg.
“We’ll use [this loss] as some motivation here,” Johansen said. “We have to get back to our winning ways, so we’re looking forward to tomorrow and the drop of the puck. That’s a good thing about this situation, we get to play tomorrow night.”
Predators defenseman Yannick Weber left the game on Saturday and did not return after taking a hit in the first period. Austin Watson also exited the game in the second period. Laviolette did not have updates on the condition of either player following the game.
Defensemen Alexei Emelin and Matt Irwin, as well as forward Mike Fisher, were all scratched for Nashville in Minnesota.
The Predators now head to Winnipeg to face the Jets on Sunday evening before returning to Nashville for a three-game home stand, beginning on Tuesday against the Wild.
Support for this article was provided by NHL