Predators top Wild 3-1 for 1st win of season

Cullen returns as Predators send Stalberg to Milwaukee, place Clune on waivers (Image 1)
Cullen returns as Predators send Stalberg to Milwaukee, place Clune on waivers (Image 1)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Martin Erat scored an unassisted goal for Nashville with 8:15 left when Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom couldn't clear the puck cleanly, and the Predators earned their first victory by beating the Wild 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Ryan Spaling had a goal late in the first period, and Chris Mason made 29 saves for the Predators in his first start of the season. He denied Dany Heatley off a rush and then on a rebound around the 5-minute mark. He stayed steady while the Wild tried to tie it.

Heatley scored for the third time in three games for the Wild, who failed to finish their 3-game homestand unbeaten. The Predators, who lost in a shootout in their previous two games, started a franchise-record-tying, 7-game trip with a strong finish.

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