Despite controlling the play, the Wild needed a late second period goal from Justin Fontaine to break a scoreless tie.
A close, low scoring game is all that can be expected between two of the bottom six scoring teams in the league (both entered tied with 2.11 goals per game through nine games).
"I thought we would be a little more even," Predators head coach Barry Trotz said. "I didn't think we were a participant in the game until the third period.
"We didn't get a lot of chances. We didn't deserve a lot of chances."
Fontaine was moved up from the third line to play with Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu. It took him just a second shift with the top line to make an impact. He drove the net and put home a rebound off a shot from Clayton Stoner.
"We shook things up and I ended up getting a rebound," Fontaine said. "It is definitely a good feeling to get a little spark. We were struggling to get goals, but if we keep throwing pucks at the net, they're going to go in."
The Predators (5-4-1) had a chance to tie the game in the final minute, but Jared Spurgeon knocked a loose puck that got behind Josh Harding to preserve the shutout.
The Wild (4-3-3) dominated the first 40 minutes of the game, but let the Predators hang around.
"We lost too many battles," Trotz said. "We hung around. We almost got a damn point at the end, which we didn't deserve. We had too many guys that did not bring their A-game today."
Jason Pominville sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 24.7 seconds remaining the game.
The Wild return to action Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Xcel Energy Center.
No. 3 – Jared Spurgeon. The Wild defenseman kept the Predators off the board by sweeping the puck off the goal line.
No. 2 – Josh Harding. The Wild goaltender stopped 16 shots.
No. 1 – Justin Fontaine. The Wild forward scored a goal.
Nashville..…..0 0 0 – 0
Minnesota…..0 1 1 – 2
First Period – None. Penalties – Clune, NASH, major (fighting), 2:07; Konopka, MIN, major (fighting), 2:07; Weber, NASH (cross checking), 4:13; Ellis, NASH (cross checking), 11:03; Fontaine, MIN (tripping), 14:54.
Second Period – 1, Minnesota, Fontaine 2 (Stoner, Parise), 18:53. Penalties – None.
Third Period – 2, Minnesota, Pominville 4 (Koivu, Parise), 19:35 (en). Penalties – Nystrom, NASH, major (fighting), 6:19; Prosser, MIN, major (fighting), 6:19; Cooke, MIN (hooking), 6:43.
Shots on goal – Nashville 3-6-7 16. Minnesota 13-11-5 29.
Goalies – Nashville, Rinne (29-29). Minnesota, Harding (16-16). A – 17,651. Referees – Chris Lee, Mike Leggo. Linesmen – Ryan Galloway, Brian Mach.