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Roloson's 44 saves not enough as Wild lose to Preds

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz
has repeatedly implored his players to shoot the puck more often
this season.

The message finally got through Thursday night against the
Minnesota Wild. The Predators kept Minnesota goaltender Dwayne
Roloson busy with 46 shots, including 17 in the third period, on
the way to a 2-1 victory.

"I always encourage our players to shoot," Trotz said. "I
just don't want them to get too fancy. I thought this was one of
the most complete games we have played all year. We stayed very
diligent. We stayed on the puck. We were very good on faceoffs. And
we got a lot of scoring chances."

Adam Hall and Jerred Smithson each scored a goal for the
Predators, with Smithson's first-ever NHL goal proving to be the
winner. Smithson, recalled from Milwaukee nine games ago, is one of
several new faces contributing on the team as the Predators deal
with injury problems.

"We got a great performance from Smithson," Trotz said. "His
is sort of the black-and-blue line. Smithson deserves his first NHL
goal. I'm proud of him for that."

The Predators took a 1-0 lead about 7½ minutes into the game
when Hall put the puck under the outstretched leg pads of Roloson
for a power-play goal.

The Predators have scored at least one power-play goal in each
of their last nine games.

Minnesota tied the game with 3:10 left in the period with
another power-play goal. Kurtis Foster took a slap shot from the
left point that went by Tomas Vokoun's glove.

Smithson scored the deciding goal with about 13 minutes left in
the second. He put a wrist shot between Roloson's leg pads to make
it 2-1.

"It was kind of a rebound shot," Smithson said. "I was just
crashing the net. I'm usually not known for scoring goals. It's
nice to contribute on faceoffs and on the penalty kill, but scoring
a goal feels pretty good."

Vokoun saved 19 shots for the win, but it was Roloson's effort
that earned praise following the game.

"Dwayne made some great saves," Minnesota coach Jacque Lemaire
said. "We were playing a team that is good with the puck.
Nashville is a team with a lot of energy. It is a team that is good
around the puck. Dwayne kept us in the game and gave us a chance to
win."

Game notes
Greg Zanon had one assist and three penalties in his NHL
debut. He was called up earlier in the day to replace Jamie
Allison, who has left the Predators for a few days for personal
reasons. ... The Wild have scored at least one power-play goal in
each of their last eight games. ... Pascal Dupuis, who had an
assist on Foster's goal, has five points in his last four games.