Defenseless Predators fall to 0-2-0; Wild at 2-0-0

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- They don't play the offense-friendly NHL
All-Star game in October, but for a few of the Nashville Predators,
it's starting to feel that way.

The Predators have surrendered 14 goals in their first two games
and are 0-2-0 after their 6-5 loss to the Minnesota Wild on
Saturday night.

"We've got 11 goals in the two games and don't have a point to
show for it. That's bothersome," Predators coach Barry Trotz said.

Coupled with Thursday's 8-6 loss to Chicago, his team set a
franchise record for most goals allowed in consecutive games.

"We lost the special teams war again," Trotz said.

Brian Rolston scored the winning goal with 1:11 remaining and
Minnesota tied a team record with five power-play goals, improving
to 2-0-0 for the first time in franchise history. Rolston capped
off a 2-on-1 break, taking a pass from Pierre-Marc Bouchard and
snapping a shot past Thomas Vokoun's glove.

"Butchie made a great pass to me," said Rolston, who led the
Wild with 46 points last season. "The defeseman had pretty good
position on us, so it was a perfect pass. The goalie kind of got a
piece of it with his glove, but it squeaked through."

Pavol Demitra, Marian Gaborik, Mikko Koivu, Todd White and Mark
Parrish, a Minnesota native who signed with the Wild as a free
agent during the offseason, had power-play goals for Minnesota.

"Tonight we could see two good power plays," Wild coach
Jacques Lemaire after his team scored on five of eight power plays.
"With all of the penalties they're giving, if you've got a good
power play you have a chance to win some games."

Steve Sullivan had a goal and two assists for Nashville, which
led 2-0 early in the first. Mikko Lehtonen added his first NHL
goal, and Scott Hartnell, Marek Zidlicky and Martin Erat also
scored for the Predators.

Minnesota starter Manny Fernandez had eight saves in the opening
period, and was pulled in favor of rookie Niklas Backstrom during
the first intermission. Backstrom, playing in his first NHL game,
had 17 saves in the final 40 minutes.

"That was like an All-Star game," said Vokoun, who made 28
saves for the Predators. "You can't win like that in this league.
That should never happen. I don't know the answers. It's two
horrible games."

Game notes
Minnesota Twins stars Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer received
a standing ovation from the crowd when they were shown on the video
screens in the second period. ... Sullivan, who scored Nashville's
first short-handed goal of the season on Saturday, led the
Predators with four short-handed goals last season. ... Fernandez
was last pulled from a game he started on Jan. 30 of last season,
when he was yanked after allowing four first-period goals against
Detroit. ... Wild defenseman Keith Carney, who missed the team's
opener because of back spasms, was in the lineup on Saturday. ...
Predators forward Paul Kariya, who played college hockey at Maine,
addressed his alma mater's current team Friday before Maine beat
Minnesota 3-1 in St. Paul.