The Minnesota Wild earned a crucial win in its race for the final playoff spot in the crowded Western Conference with a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.

Luke Kunin and Kevin Fiala each scored goals in the first period to stake Minnesota to a 2-0 lead, and Zach Parise's third period goal made the score 3-0. Alex Stalock made 37 saves to earn the win in net.

The Wild is now 33-26-7 on the season and one point behind Vancouver and Winnipeg for a Wild Card spot in the West. Minnesota will begin a three-game road trip Thursday night at San Jose.