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Rolston's late game winner propels Minnesota to wild 6-5 win over Nashville

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 two-on-one 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 defenceman 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 off-season, 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 favour 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."

Notes: Minnesota Twins stars Justin Morneau of New Westminster, B.C., 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 defenceman 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.



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