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Predators pound Wild 6-1, post seventh straight win

Feb 29, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Minnesota Wild defenseman Jake Middleton (5) and Nashville Predators defenseman Jeremy Lauzon (3) exchange punches during a fight during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Roman Josi had a goal and two assists and Juuse Saros made 33 saves as the host Nashville Predators extended their season-high winning streak to seven, beating the Minnesota Wild 6-1 on Thursday night.

Yakov Trenin and Cole Smith scored eight seconds apart in the first period and Filip Forsberg, Ryan O’Reilly and Ryan McDonagh also scored for Nashville, which moved into the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Gustav Nyquist and Colton Sissons each added a pair of assists to help Saros win his fifth consecutive start. He has allowed just seven goals during that span.

Connor Dewar scored for Minnesota, which lost for the 11th time in its last 13 trips (2-8-3) to Nashville. Filip Gustavsson, who had a five-game road win streak snapped, made 25 saves.

Minnesota jumped out a 1-0 lead at the 9:51 mark of the first period when Saros left a rebound of a Brandon Duhaime shot in the slot. Dewar then controlled the puck and wired a wrist shot inside the left post for ninth goal of the season.

Trenin tied it 49 seconds later after Josi backhanded a pass to him in the crease where he redirected it over Gustavsson’s left pad for his 10th goal of the season.

Smith then made it 2-1 on the ensuing faceoff when he intercepted a pass from defenseman Declan Chisholm and skated in and put in a wrist shot around Gustavsson’s right pad. The two goals over an eight-second span tied a Predators record and capped a spurt of three goals in a 57-second span.

Forsberg increased Nashville’s lead to 3-1 at the 17:55 mark of the second period with a power-play goal, firing a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that deflected off the stick of defenseman Jonas Brodin and past Gustavsson for his 29th goal.

The Predators then broke the game open with two goals in the first 8:03 of the third period. Josi got the first at the 1:32 mark when he snuck a sharp-angle shot inside the near post for his 15th goal. O’Reilly followed with his 21st goal with a wrist shot from the low slot off a Nyquist pass.

McDonagh made it 6-1 with 6:03 to go when he one-timed in a point shot off a Luke Evangelista pass.

–Field Level Media

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