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Wild Lose 3-1 to Predators with Nothing More Than a Wimper

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Pekka Rinne

That's all that needs to be said.

But since that won't suffice for a recapitulation, here's the rest of the game.

The Nashville Predators came into Saturday's matinee on top of the NHL standings. The Wild were getting Zach Parise back in the line-up. The Wild out-shot the Predators for most the game but missed power play opportunities, costly giveaways, and great goaltending by Rinne did the Wild in.

Minnesota did come out with some jump in the first period. In fact, it looked a lot like the kind of pressure we saw for the majority of the Blackhawks game. But an awful giveaway after both Jonas Brodin and Ryan Suter were caught beneath the goal line on one Predator player landed on Mike Fisher's stick, Backstrom never had a chance.

But hey, the Wild tied the game on Charlie Coyle's fourth of the season. Nino Niederreiter's hustle negated the icing infraction and the puck went up the boards to Christian Folin. Folin then put the puck on net and the rebound caromed off Rinne's pads where Coyle was there to clean up the trash.

Minnesota had many more chances to score, but Rinne was just too good. Thomas Vanek had a play in which he was streaking down the right side with no one between him and Rinne, but Vanek decided to fancy pass to Parise. The pass never connected and you could hear the eyes rolls in the Xcel Energy Center over the broadcast.

Not much happened in the second period as the Wild floundered more power play chances. The energy in the building and on the ice started to fade as the game became much more choppy.

Moving on to the third period, The Predators and Wild were both playing a conservative game to try and avoid making the mistake that would cost them the game. Unfortunately, the mistake would be made by the Wild. Calle Jarnkrok gathered a juicy rebound of Backstrom's left pad and deposited it home for the 2-1 lead. Minnesota then attempted to apply some more pressure, but Rinne would stop and smother everything. Then this happened:

I have no idea what that was, but it took everything out of the sails for the Wild.

The rest of the period was filled with a Shea Weber/Matt Cooke fight and a Mike Fisher/Nate Prosser fight. Both were incredibly unneccessary, and Wild players couldn't even stand up for themselves right. Personal pride isn't even on this team. The hole continues to get deeper, and the tears of Wild fans are creating a lake that is drowning the team.