Wild

Wild Upend Predators For 5th Straight Win

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Dany Heatley, Kyle Brodziak and Cal Clutterbuck scored third-period goals, Josh Harding made 23 saves and the Minnesota Wild won their fifth straight with a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night.

Heatley scored at 1:05 of the period for his sixth goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1. Brodziak got his fifth of the season on a power play at 9:39. And Clutterbuck capped the run with his fifth of the season, a short-handed goal at 13:19 of the period.

Nashville’s Jordin Tootoo opened the scoring with his second goal at 5:21 of the season. Ryan Suter added a power-play goal to cut it to 3-2 at 13:57.

Pekka Rinne made 27 saves for the Predators.

The Wild are 10-2-0 since Oct. 29.

Before the game, Minnesota signed 51-year-old recreational hockey goaltender Paul Deutsch to an amateur tryout contract after Niklas Backstrom was forced to miss Wednesday’s game for personal reasons.

Deutsch participated in pregame warm-ups, but was scratched after Matt Hackett was recalled from Houston and arrived in time for Wednesday’s game.

Harding didn’t need any help on Wednesday night.

Tootoo squeezed a shot between Harding’s pads and the puck trickled across the line. Getting his second straight start, Harding kept Nashville at bay until Minnesota’s offense got going.

Heatley finished off a pass from Mikko Koivu on a 2-on-1 break, deflecting the cross-ice pass past Rinne.

Brodziak’s one-timer went under Rinne’s right arm to give the Wild a 2-1 lead.

Clutterbuck capitalized on a breakaway less than 4 minutes later. Koivu bounced a pass off the sideboards and found Clutterbuck. Rinne came out to challenge Clutterbuck and slipped, allowing Clutterbuck to coast in for his fifth of the season.

Rinne allowed three first-period goals and was chased from the game in Tuesday night’s 6-2 loss to Edmonton.

Notes: Minnesota put D Marek Zidlicky on injured reserve with a concussion to make room for Hackett. Zidlicky had missed the past two games. …. Wild D Marco Scandella played for the first time since sustaining a concussion on Nov. 12 against Los Angeles. … Heatley’s goal early in the third period snapped Rinne’s 145-minute shutout streak against Minnesota. … Minnesota is 7-0-1 against the Central Division and 13-3-2 against the Western Conference. … Nashville D Shea Weber had his five-game point streak snapped. The team’s captain, Weber had been on the ice for 13 straight Predators’ goals before having the streak stopped on Tuesday night.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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