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Heatley, Kuemper lead Wild past Predators, 4-0

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 12, 2014 at 9:53 pm •  Published: January 12, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A big milestone for Darcy Kuemper came in a big win for the Minnesota Wild.

Dany Heatley had a goal and an assist, Kuemper made 23 saves for his first career shutout, and the Wild beat the Nashville Predators 4-0 on Sunday night.

Jason Zucker and Matt Cooke also scored for Minnesota, which has won five of six.

Kuemper made five saves in the first, nine in the second, and nine in the third. The rookie's best save came with 2:17 left in the third period when he denied former Wild forward Matt Cullen from just outside of the crease on the right side.

"It's a pretty special feeling right now," Kuemper said. "Obviously, shutouts are always fun and to get one at the highest level is a pretty cool experience."

The Predators have lost three in a row and six of their last seven.

"We tried to force things through people," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "Sometimes you have to have to simplify that or it just backfires for you. Full credit to them, they jumped on us."

Heatley scored the game's first goal with 7:57 left in the first period when he redirected Charlie Coyle's shot past Nashville goalie Marek Mazanec.

"I knew we had numbers, but it worked out pretty nice," Heatley said. "We heard from the bench that we had an odd-man rush. (Coyle) made a great play, and that was a pretty easy one."

Former Predator Ryan Suter also assisted on the goal. It was his 300th career NHL point. He has five assists in six career games against his former team.

"They were right there in front of us in the standings and we needed tonight, but we didn't get it," Nashville captain Shea Weber, who was Suter's longtime defensive partner with the Predators, said. "Now we have to move forward and get ready for Calgary."

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