Wild defeats Predators 2-1 on Cullen's shootout goal

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 10, 2013 - 11:37 PM
hide

Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom (32), of Finland, is congratulated by Jason Zucker (16), Matt Cullen (7), Zenon Konopka, second from right, and Devin Setoguchi (10) after the Wild beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 in a shootout at an NHL hockey game on Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn.

Photo: Mark Humphrey, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– The good news for Ryan Suter is the Wild made its only trip to Nashville this season. The bad news is he’s got 12 more years of what he experienced Saturday night.

Cast as a villain, a turncoat, the worst kind of deserter imaginable, Suter was repaid for leaving the Predators and signing a 13-year deal with the Wild last summer by being booed and mocked unmercifully by the vivacious Bridgestone Arena crowd.

In the end, Suter had the last laugh by being on the winning end of Minnesota’s gritty 2-1 shootout win.

“I was just trying to get through it, trying to block it out,” Suter said. “It’s not fun being booed. It went the whole game, too. That kind of surprised me. They’ll probably have some sore throats [Sunday].”

Mikko Koivu and Matt Cullen scored in the shootout and Niklas Backstrom, who made 24 saves through overtime, was only beaten once as the Wild grabbed a big two points in the front end of back-to-back games that ends Sunday at home against Vancouver.

Suter, the NHL’s ice time leader, logged one second short of 29 minutes and saw the best of both worlds.

He assisted on Zach Parise’s second-period power-play goal and had to sit in the penalty box and watch his former teammate, David Legwand, tie the score on a third-period power play.

But Suter highlighted a strong bounce-back game by the Wild’s defensemen, who struggled in Tuesday’s loss at Chicago. Cal Clutterbuck also had eight hits in his return from a thigh injury. It was the Wild’s first win in Nashville since Dec. 5, 2009, ending a five-game winless streak.

Drafted seventh overall in 2003, Suter had 200 assists and 238 points in 542 games for the Predators. He is more a significant fixture in Nashville’s history than most former players, yet the organization opted not to extend a video tribute to Suter the way it did to Jordin Tootoo and Steve Sullivan this year and Joel Ward last year.

Suter admitted he was hurt by the fan reception.

“I spent seven years here. I had a great time here,” Suter said. “I had a lot of respect for the fans. I mean, I still do. It’s part of being a fan, I understand that, but it’s tough to take.”

The fun started before the game.

During warmups, a dozen Predators fans taped not-so nice signs to the glass, directed at Suter. Several fans depicted Suter as Robin to Shea Weber’s Batman, something Zenon Konopka got a kick from and got Suter laughing, too.

“Sometimes you just have to sit back and laugh and have fun with it,” Konopka said. “If you know Suts as a guy, you knew it wasn’t going to flap him.”

On the Wild’s second of four second-period power plays, Suter whistled a wrist shot through traffic that Parise redirected by Pekka Rinne for his team-leading ninth goal. It was Parise’s fifth power-play goal and gave the Wild’s often-aggravating power play goals in five of six games.

But the Predators tied the score at 1-1 early in the third after referee Chris Lee pulled only Suter out of a pile following Paul Gaustad crashing the net. The crowd absolutely loved Suter being in the box for the goal and gave him the traditional college hockey “It’s all your fault” chant during a raucous TV timeout.

But the Wild stuck with it, and even though it couldn’t score on an overtime power play, it prevailed.

“Our defensemen, our forwards, Backy, everybody contributed right through the lineup,” coach Mike Yeo said. “And that was a hard game. It almost had a playoff feel to it.”



 

  • related content

  • Postgame: Suter brushes off 'Booooo Suter Night' with big game

    Sunday March 10, 2013

    Ryan Suter assisted on Zach Parise's power-play goal and brushed off a whole lot of boos

  • Wild notes: Bouchard not happy about scratch

    Saturday March 9, 2013

    NASHVILLE – Pierre-Marc Bouchard has missed a lot of hockey the past four years — 160 games, to be exact...

  • Wild preview: Wild vs. Vancouver

    Sunday March 10, 2013

    wild gameday7 P.M. VS. VANCOUVER • XCEL ENergy CenterFSN, 100.3-FMPreview: After starting 8-2-2, the Canucks are 3-4-4 in their past...

  • Game recap: Wild-Nashville

    Sunday March 10, 2013

    GAME RECAPSTAR TRIBUNE’S THREE STARS1. Ryan Suter, Wild: Booed even when he touched up icings, he brushed it off in...

  • Blackhawks winger Michael Frolik turned his back on one of the Avalanche’s goal celebrations in a loss that ended Chicago’s points streak.

  • Zach Parise (11) beat Pekka Rinne for the game’s first goal in the second period, but the Wild didn’t score again until the decisive shootout.

  • Mikko Koivu backhanded the Wild’s first shootout goal past Pekka Rinne.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 113 FINAL
Golden State 111
Washington 98 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 FINAL
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
UNLV 67 FINAL
Nevada 62
SD Christian 54 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 79
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Boise State 82
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What chance does the Wild have of making the playoffs?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close