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ST. PAUL, Minn.- Martin Erat scored an unassisted goal for Nashville with 8:15 left when Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom couldn't clear the puck cleanly, and the Predators earned their first victory by beating the Wild 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Ryan Spaling had a goal late in the first period, and Chris Mason made 29 saves for the Predators in his first start of the season. He denied Dany Heatley off a rush and then on a rebound around the 5-minute mark. He stayed steady while the Wild tried to tie it.

Heatley scored for the third time in three games for the Wild, who failed to finish their three-game homestand unbeaten. The Predators, who lost in a shootout in their previous two games, started a franchise-record-tying, seven-game trip with a strong finish.

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