They got the start they wanted. They had the defensive effort they needed. They had the lead they craved.
And then in the final 20 minutes, it all went horribly wrong. There were parades to the penalty box, odd-man rushes and a falling goaltender.
The Predators knew the Minnesota Wild are a third-period team, and the Western Conference’s top squad took it to them in the final frame for a 3-2 victory.