Originally written January 22, 2013 on PredsOnTheGlass:
After improving in each of the first two games and settling for the loser point in each, the Predators made big strides in the final two periods against the Wild in Minnesota and broke into the win column for the first time this season by a 3-1 score.Chris Mason started his first game of the year for the Predators and limited the Wild to one goal on thirty shots, including several great scoring chances in the games closing moments.Gabriel Bourque played 14:15 in his first game of the season, after coming back from injury, and appeared to invigorate the third line that he shared with Brandon Yip and Nick Spaling. Bourque spent considerable time around the net distracting the Wild players and could have been in on Spaling's goal that tied the game late in the first period.Marty Erat played it smart on his go ahead goal after picking the puck from Niklas Backstrom by gently sliding it into the net instead of being cute. As an older player, he is crafting a career to be proud of as a lifelong Predator.Speaking of long time Preds, David Legwand  has the market cornered on empty net goals and late game markers as he had tonight, picking up the clincher with 17  seconds left on the power play. The Preds have now scored on the man advantage in all three games.Richard Clune got in his fight in early when he tangled with Zenon Konopka a couple of minutes into the game. I would think the jury is still out his role with this year's team. He did pick up three hits in five shifts.After a banner night in the face off circle on Monday, the Preds were only 25 of 58 in their second game without Paul Gaustad.The Predators continue onward on their marathon road trip and will meet the Blues in St. Louis on Thursday. They will also end the trip in St.Louis which will make three of the first nine games against what appears to be one of conference's top teams.More Later...Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass
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