About Last Night: Wild Fall To Predators 4-2

Alexander Shun | @alexpshun

Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com

It was a disappointing close to an admittedly difficult homestand for the Minnesota Wild as they fell to the Nashville Predators 4-2 on Sunday night.

With back-up goaltender Darcy Kuemper in goal and missing Captain Mikko Koivu (flu), the Wild were once again unable to maintain a two-goal lead, suffering their second loss in four games.

Sunday was the third time on Minnesota's four-game homestand that the team surrendered a two-goal lead.

"Obviously if we want to win a championship, it's got to get better. You can't do that," Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau said after the game Sunday. "It's tough to play with a lead in this league...You've got to go after them and try to increase the lead rather than just hold the lead."

Mikael Grandlund got the Wild on the board less than three minutes into the game. After holding the puck in the zone Grandlund worked his way to the front of the net where he received a pass from Jason Zucker, delayed, then whipped the puck past a sprawling Pekka Rinne for the game's first goal. The goal extended Granlund's career-high point streak to now seven games.

Jason Pominville added his seventh goal of the year after he took a great pass from Erik Haula then fired a wrist shot past Rinne to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead after one.

It appeared as though the Wild were set to turn the game into a rout, even after James Neal got Nashville on the board in the second period with his 16th of the year. But in the third period, Filip Forsberg singlehandedly beat Minnesota, chipping in both the game-tying and game-winning goals.

"Our start wasn't great," Forsberg said. "But then we kind of got going and were working hard and we just got back in the game."

Forsberg tied the game early in the third after he collected a rebound in front of Kuemper and slid it past the Wild net-minder for his 13th goal of the season. He wasn't done though.

With less than seven minutes to go in the game, the Swedish winger ripped a one-timer stick side past a sliding Kuemper to give Nashville the lead and Ryan Johansen later added an empty-net goal to secure the Predators third-straight victory.

"When you give yourself a two-goal lead, you can't let them hang around," Zach Parise said of Minnesota's blown lead. "You have to get that third one and put them out of the game, and we weren't able to do that."

Minnesota deeply felt the absence of Koivu in the face-off circle as Nashville won 54 percent of the game's face-offs. Boudreau spoke to Koivu's absence after the game.

"He's our guy for faceoffs so it hurt. It hurts the balance and everything," Boudreau said. "Look at our faceoffs. In the first two periods, we were well under 50 percent."

Despite allowing three goals, Kuemper played well for Minnesota, finishing with 28 saves and, according to Boudreau, was not the cause of the Wild's loss, noting, "It's the guys in front of him that should have played better."

The Wild will now look to avoid back-to-back losses when they travel to Dallas to take on the Stars Tuesday night.

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