NHL

Zucker has 2 goals, assist as Wild beat Predators 5-2

  • Minnesota Wild's Jason Zucker, center, celebrates his goal off Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, of Finland, with teammates during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

    Minnesota Wild's Jason Zucker, center, celebrates his goal off Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, of Finland, with teammates during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)  (The Associated Press)

  • Minnesota Wild's Chris Stewart, top, and Nashville Predators' Austin Watson fight during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

    Minnesota Wild's Chris Stewart, top, and Nashville Predators' Austin Watson fight during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)  (The Associated Press)

  • Minnesota Wild's Chris Stewart, left, and Nashville Predators' Austin Watson fight during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

    Minnesota Wild's Chris Stewart, left, and Nashville Predators' Austin Watson fight during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)  (The Associated Press)

Jason Zucker scored two goals and added an assist as the Minnesota Wild beat the Nashville Predators 5-2 on Saturday night.

Mikael Granlund and Mikko Koivu each had a goal and assist, and Eric Staal scored into an empty net as the Western Conference-leading Wild surpassed last season's total with their 39th win. Devan Dubnyk made 37 saves.

Minnesota, which is 6-1-1 in its past eight games, has a nine-point lead over Chicago in the Central Division and is one point back of Washington for the most points in the NHL. The Wild are 12-1-3 in their last 16 games against division foes.

Colin Wilson and P.K. Subban scored for Nashville, which played for the first time after its mandatory five-day break.

Since becoming a line on Nov. 25, Zucker, Koivu and Granlund have combined for 110 points. The Wild are 29-6-4 since then.

In front to take advantage of an awkward bounce off the boards and side of the net, Koivu notched his 600th career point with a goal 35 seconds into the third period for a 3-0 lead.

It proved to be the game-winner after the Predators charged back.

Wilson scored on a rebound midway through the period and Subban scored on a slap shot just more than two minutes later. Referees initially waved off Subban's goal for goaltender interference by James Neal, but a video review showed the contact occurred after the puck was past Dubnyk.

Zucker scored unassisted on a breakaway with 3:19 to play, and Staal added an empty-net goal.

Knowing the Predators hadn't played since Sunday, Minnesota wanted to strike early.

Granlund did just that off a scramble, putting a rebound behind Pekka Rinne for a power-play goal 2:38 into the game.

Nashville, which took three penalties in the first eight minutes and has allowed six power-play goals in its last three games, nearly tied it during the second penalty kill, but Ryan Ellis missed on a short-handed breakaway.

Zucker got his 100th career point with a goal late in the second period, converting a feed from Granlund, who passed around a sliding Subban. Granlund has 22 points in his last 19 games.

NOTES: Wild RW Nino Niederreiter established a career high with his 24th assist. ... Minnesota activated D Jonas Brodin off injured reserve. He missed 14 games with a broken finger. . Nashville recalled LW Kevin Fiala from Milwaukee of the AHL. He did not play. . The Predators began a stretch of 26 games in 50 days to finish the regular season.

UP NEXT

Nashville: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.

Minnesota: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday in the seventh game of an eight-game homestand, the longest in franchise history.