In a match-up that had no doubt been circled on the calendar since the start of the season, the Minnesota Wild and defenseman Ryan Suter made their first trip to visit the Nashville Predators this season on Saturday. Suter was met with boos every time he touched the puck as the home crowd let the former Predator know how they felt about his decision to leave for Minnesota as a free agent this summer.
Suter assisted on Zach Parise’s second period goal, which would be the only regulation tally the team would manage. He logged just under 29 minutes of ice time, including more than six minutes of power play time.
The Predators drafted Suter seventh overall in the 2003 draft, and he was a mainstay on their blue line for the past seven seasons. He scored 38 goals and had 238 points during his time in Nashville while forming a dominant defense pairing with Shea Weber. He signed a 13-year, $98-million contract with the Wild over the summer, joining fellow free agent Parise, who signed a similar deal after leaving the New Jersey Devils in favor of the Wild. Suter has one goal and 15 points for the Wild this season, despite a slow start. He has at least a point in each of the team’s last six games as the Wild try to stay in the playoff hunt.
Goaltender Niklas Backstrom got the win in net, besting Pekka Rinne in the shootout by stopping two of the Predators’ three attempts while the Wild got goals from Mikko Koivu and Matt Cullen. Suter will now be able to move on and focus on the rest of the season, as the Wild don’t face the Predators again this season unless the two teams corss paths in the postseason.