Niederreiter lifts Wild over Preds in OT
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Nino Niederreiter scored 2:16 into overtime to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday.
Jonas Brodin and Zach Parise also scored and Niederreiter added an assist for the Wild, winners in two straight. Darcy Kuemper made 16 saves in the win.
"Real impressed with our guys, the way they approached this week, this game. We asked them for playoff type mentality," said Wild coach Mike Yeo. "That's a lot to ask in February when you're about to go on a long break."
Craig Smith provided both goals for the Predators, who have lost two straight. Carter Hutton made 33 saves in the setback.
"Carter Hutton gave us a chance tonight, he got us a point," said Predators coach Barry Trotz. "We hit three posts, they had a little luck on their side."
Niederreiter skated in along the right side, cut back to the middle, and fired a shot past Hutton for the game-winner.
Brodin took a cross-ice pass from Niederreiter at the left circle and blasted a wrister into the back of the net to put the Wild on the board first just 4:05 into the game.
Smith evened the score 1:45 later. Smith fired a shot from the blue line, Kuemper couldn't secure the rebound as it rolled off his shoulder, and Smith raced to the goal and tapped it in.
Parise added a power-play goal with 13:27 gone in the first period. Dany Heatley took a pass in the right circle and turned to find a charging Parise, who flipped the disc through for a 2-1 lead.
Smith tipped in a Victor Bartley pass to tie things up at 2-2 with 7:40 played in the second period. Bartley fired one from above the left circle and Smith was there to redirect the disc past Kuemper.
Earlier on Thursday, Predators general manager David Poile was taken to a Minnesota hospital after he was hit in the head with a puck during morning skate at Xcel Energy Center. He will remain in the hospital for further evaluation.
Minnesota is out of action until Feb. 27 when the NHL concludes its Olympic break ... Minnesota was 1-for-5 on power-play chances ... Parise had 19 goals this season ... Smith has 18 goals this season ... The Predators will visit the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.
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