NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Juuso Parssinen scored at 2:44 of overtime to give the Nashville Predators a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.
Mark Jankowski, Kiefer Sherwood and Yakov Trenin also scored for the Predators. Juuse Saros made 21 saves.
“This particular group over the last six weeks, they’ve been hungry, they’ve been tenacious and they play with a lot of pride,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “I thought we did those things tonight and it was good to see.”
Frederick Gaudreau scored twice and Nic Petan also scored for the Wild. Gustav Nyquist had two assists and Filip Gustavsson made 27 saves.
“We thought we competed,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “We got a point and the way that the guys competed was positive.”
In overtime, Parssinen skated through the slot and lifted a between-the-legs highlight reel shot over Gustavsson’s shoulder for the game-winner.
“I don’t know how it came up in my mind,” Parssinen said of the move.
Gustavsson gave credit to the Finnish rookie.
“That’s a nice move,” he said. “He comes down, he has some time there and then between the legs, bar down, it’s a nice hockey goal.”
The Wild announced earlier Thursday they had signed Gaudreau to a five-year, $10.5 million contract that will keep the forward in Minnesota through the 2027-28 season.
“It’s great, just the thought of playing hockey for five more years in this environment with this organization, those teammates, the staff, everybody, really the whole organization,” Gaudreau said. “I feel very, very grateful.”
Tied 2-2 going into the third, Trenin and Petan traded goals 16 seconds apart late to send the game into overtime.
Petan’s goal was his first in the NHL since March 2, 2019.
Minnesota is locked into the Central Division’s third spot and will face either Colorado or Dallas in the first round of the playoffs.
Nashville was eliminated from playoff contention Tuesday night when Winnipeg clinched the Western Conference’s final playoff berth with their victory over Minnesota.
Jankowski scored the game’s first goal at 8:02 of the opening period. With the Wild on a power play, Tyson Barrie sent a pass from the right circle to Jankowski in the slot, where he beat Gustavsson for his team-leading third short-handed goal of the season.
Gaudreau drew the Wild even at 14:19 of the first, but Sherwood scored two minutes later to put Nashville up again.
Gaudreau’s second of the night was the only goal of the middle period. It was his 100th career NHL point as well.
Gaudreau did not return for the third period. Following the game Evason said that sitting Gaudreau for the third was just load management and he was fine.
With the Wild completing the regular season Thursday, Gaudreau was the only player who skated in all 82 regular season games. … Matt Boldy played in Minnesota’s first 81 games but did not dress Thursday.
In recent years, players making their NHL debuts are given the honor of taking a couple of solo laps prior to their teammates entering the ice for the pregame warmup. With Minnesota’s Nick Swaney and Damien Giroux both making their debuts Thursday night, the solo laps turned into dual laps when they stepped onto the Bridgestone Arena ice together.
Giroux picked up his first career point with an assist on Petan’s goal.
Predators: Host Colorado on Friday to conclude the season.
Wild: the first round of the playoffs.