Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Eric Nystrom's penalty-shot tally capped a three-goal first period as Nashville knocked off Minnesota, 3-2, in the first of five meetings this season between these new Central Division rivals.
Filip Forsberg and Colin Wilson also lit the lamp for the Predators, who picked up their first win of the season after opening up with road losses to Colorado and St. Louis.
Pekka Rinne was strong in net with 32 saves.
Zach Parise and Jared Spurgeon scored for the Wild, who have dropped three straight -- but their first in regulation time -- to open up their schedule.
Niklas Backstrom exited the game late in the first period with a right leg injury after a goalmouth collision, having allowed two goals on five shots. Josh Harding gave up just one goal, but it was Nystrom's eventual game winner, on 20 shots faced.
Nystrom was awarded a penalty shot with 8:46 remaining in the first for being dragged down from behind by Wild defenseman Keith Ballard while attempting to chase down a dump-in.
Both men skidded through the crease and Backstrom ended up having to leave the game after his leg was caught up in the pile and pinned against the goal post.
Nystrom caught Harding leaning, and scored low and inside the right post to give the hosts a 3-1 advantage.
"Felt pretty good to get a game-winner, especially against Minnesota," Nystrom said. "Thats a team that I kind of had some unfortunate circumstance with and wasnt particularly happy with the way I got treated there. But what better way to score a game-winning goal and help the team win?"
Spurgeon's first of the season -- a wrister from the right circle on the advantage -- pulled the Wild within a goal at 7:26 of the second, but that was as close as Minnesota came.
The visitors had to kill off all but one second of a minor to Parise to begin the third, while Rinne stood up to nine Wild shots in the final 20 minutes.
Parise stood atop the crease to tip in a Mikko Koivu offering on a power play to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead just after the four-minute mark of the first period.
Forsberg responded for the Preds just 62 seconds later during a 5-on-3 with his first career score, and Wilson put the visitors on top at 5:46 with a shot from the right circle inside the far post while one man up.
"We've got to find a way to win," Wild defenseman Keith Ballard said.