Parise hurt; Predators edge the Wild

Published 9:29 am Friday, November 6, 2015

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Wild lost more than a game Thursday night. They also lost their top goal scorer. 

They just aren’t sure for how long.

Cody Hodgson scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period to lift the Nashville Predators over Minnesota 3-2 after Wild star Zach Parise was injured.

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Mike Fisher and Roman Josi also scored for Nashville, which went 2-1-1 on a nine-day road trip that began with three games in California.

“We got points in three of the four games. We played some tough teams and I thought we did a good job,” defenseman Seth Jones said.

Marco Scandella and Matt Dumba had goals for the Wild, who lost for the first time in six home games.

Minnesota’s leading goal-scorer with seven, Parise left with a lower-body injury after getting hit on his first shift. Battling for the puck near the right wall in the offensive zone, Parise went awkwardly into the boards when James Neal hit him from behind, possibly knee-to-knee.

“Cheap? I don’t know. Running around reckless? Yeah. But I guess that’s part of the game,” Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter said.

No penalty was called.

“Looked like a good hit to me,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said.

Parise limped off favoring his right leg and briefly went down the tunnel toward the dressing room. He returned and played five more shifts, then went back to the locker room with about 2 minutes remaining in the first period. He did not return after that.

Wild coach Mike Yeo said he’d have an update Friday, but ruled Parise out of Saturday’s home game against Tampa Bay.

“There’s no excuses,” Yeo said. “The bottom line is we’re losing Zach and we’re probably going to lose some offense.”

Hodgson provided a late boost for Nashville with his first goal of the season.

On the rush, his shot from just inside the blue line was stopped by goalie Devan Dubnyk. But the puck bounced free, allowing Hodgson to swoop in and poke it into the net with 5:21 remaining.

“We’ve got a good team here,” he said. “It’s fun to be part of this team, and I just want to help and contribute.”

Nashville had a couple of players head to the locker room, only to return soon thereafter.

Paul Gaustad briefly left in the third period after taking a slapshot to the head. Callie Jarnkrok left for a short time in the second after a shoulder-to-shoulder hit.

“Gutsy by both of them,” Laviolette said.

Josi gave Nashville a 2-1 lead 12 seconds into the third period. Gathering an errant clearing attempt by Mikko Koivu inside the blue line, the defenseman sent a slapshot from high in the left circle that went between the pads of Dubnyk for his fifth point in four games.

On the power play, Dumba one-timed a shot from the blue line past Pekka Rinne at 6:51 to tie it.

Fischer broke a scoreless tie with just under 4 minutes to play in the second period when his wrist shot from the slot beat Dubnyk on the stick side for his second goal of the season.

Scandella responded on the power play 90 seconds later.

On a pretty passing play, the puck went to Koivu in the slot. He quickly passed to Suter at the blue line, and he found Scandella alone in the right circle. Scandella’s slapshot beat Rinne high on the stick side.

NOTES: Nashville was playing its first game within the Central Division; Minnesota is 3-2-1 in division games. … Thursday marked the 10-year anniversary of Koivu making his NHL debut. The team captain is the franchise leader in assists (364) and points (511), and ranks second in goals (147) and games played (692). … Nashville assistant coach Phil Housley, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, grew up a few minutes from the Xcel Energy Center in South St. Paul. He dropped a ceremonial first puck. … Predators LW Eric Nystrom missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury.