Martin Erat scored an unassisted goal for Nashville with 8:15 left when Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom couldn't clear the puck cleanly, and the Predators earned their first victory by beating the Wild 3-1 on Tuesday night.
Ryan Spaling had a goal late in the first period, and Chris Mason made 29 saves for the Predators in his first start of the season. He denied Dany Heatley off a rush and then on a rebound around the 5-minute mark. He stayed steady while the Wild tried to tie it.
Heatley scored for the third time in three games for the Wild, who failed to finish their three-game homestand unbeaten. The Predators, who lost in a shootout in their previous two games, started a franchise-record-tying, seven-game trip with a strong finish.
David Legwand added another goal for the Predators with 16.2 seconds remaining, taking advantage of a Wild turnover and catching defenseman Ryan Suter with his back turned to the play.
Erat took advantage of a rare mistake by the Wild's relentl...