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NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Minnesota
(Sunday, April 13th)
Final Score: Nashville 7, Minnesota 3
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Craig Smith scored two goals and the Nashville Predators beat the playoff-bound Minnesota Wild, 7-3, in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Calle Jarnkrok had a goal and two assists for the Predators (38-32-12), who went 6-0-1 over their final seven games. Ryan Ellis, Shea Weber, Rich Clune and Roman Josi each scored a goal.
Carter Hutton stopped 26-of-29 shots for Nashville, which missed the playoffs for the second straight season.
"It matters to us," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We came out of the Olympic break and we talked about playing good hockey. We came back and had a homestand and didn't get any wins and that put us behind the eight-ball. So we said, 'from now until game 82, this is our playoffs. And after 82 games, if we play as hard as we can, if we don't make it, at least we can keep our heads high.' And the group did that."
Jason Pominville had a goal and two assists for Minnesota (43-27-12), which went 6-1-1 over its last eight games. Erik Haula and Zach Parise also lit the lamp.
Ilya Bryzgalov allowed five goals on 21 shots before being pulled for John Curry, who made 10 saves in relief.
"It's like the last exhibition game before the start of the season," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "Always happy to have that one over with. It didn't take long to figure out we weren't on top of it."
The Wild clinched the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference and will open the playoffs against the Colorado Avalanche, who won the Central Division. Game 1 is set for Thursday.
The Predators turned a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead with four second-period goals.
Ellis and Weber scored from the point to tie things up. Josi's shot from the top of the left circle gave Nashville the lead at 6:57 of the second.
Smith tipped Josi's point shot past Bryzgalov at 14:53 to give Nashville a 5-3 edge.
Jarnkrok and Smith scored in the third to account for the final margin.
Minnesota took three of five from Nashville this season ... The Predators finished 19-15-7 away from home, while the Wild went 26-10-5 at home ... Wild forward Mike Rupp served the first of a four-game suspension that will carry over into the playoffs ... Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner was in the lineup for the first time since he suffered a lower-body injury on March 22.
04/14 00:15:16 ET