NHL Game Summary - Detroit at Nashville
(Tuesday, February 10th)
Final Score: Detroit 5, Nashville 3
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk both scored twice to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators at Sommet Center.
Marian Hossa also scored for the Red Wings, who have won five straight on the heels of a five-game winless skid but remained two points behind San Jose for the overall points lead in the Western Conference. The Sharks were victorious in their showcase matchup versus the Bruins in Boston earlier Tuesday.
"We had a tough stretch before with these five games," said Zetterberg. "We always have them during the year, but we have to make them as short as possible."
Ty Conklin made 18 saves in the win.
Joel Ward scored two goals for Nashville, which has now dropped two straight following a four-game win streak. Pekka Rinne allowed four goals on 50 shots while Radek Bonk added his seventh tally in the losing effort.
After Zetterberg's second goal of the game in the early stages of the third period put Detroit ahead 4-2, Ward responded in kind with his second marker of the night that brought the Predators within a goal with 9:24 remaining in regulation. Ward cradled the puck down the left-wing side, skated around Detroit blueliner Brian Rafalski near the circle, cut in front and punched home a wrist shot from the top of the crease.
Nashville did not register many quality scoring chances down the stretch as Detroit clogged the neutral zone and used strong defense at the blue line before Datsyuk's empty-netter with 12 seconds left capped the scoring.
The Red Wings opened the scoring at the 5:02 mark of the first period. The Wings won a faceoff inside their right offensive circle and the puck was drawn back to the near point. After a wrist shot from Rafalski above the circle was saved, the rebound kicked loose in the crease area and after several rebound attempts, Zetterberg finally punched it home after he was left all alone below the left circle.
Near the midpoint of the first stanza, the visitors scored on the power play for a two-goal edge. With Ryan Jones in the penalty box for hooking, the Wings worked the puck around the perimeter before Nicklas Lidstrom held control near the centerpoint. Lidstrom passed to Datsyuk, who curled in the high left slot and fired a wrister that beat Rinne with the help of a screen in front by Dan Cleary.
The teams exchanged power-play goals within a 72-second span near the five- minute mark of the second stanza. Shortly after Hossa's 31st goal at 4:18 gave Detroit a 3-0 lead, Bonk's tally while Tomas Kopecky was in the penalty box cut the Nashville deficit to 3-1.
"We came out slow," said Nashville defenseman Shea Weber. "We know they're a good team. We have to be prepared for that. It's too hard to dig yourself out of a hole."
Ward's goal with 8:37 to play before the second intermission brought the Preds within one. After several nice saves by Conklin, Nashville kept buzzing in its offensive zone and finally lit the lamp. Ryan Suter blasted a shot from the left point that was deflected past Conklin by the stick of Ward in the low slot.
But the Wings answered via Zetterberg's second tally of the game just over three minutes into the final stanza. The Wings perfectly executed an obvious set breakout play.
Rafalski started the rush with a pass from the Detroit goal line to the right half-wall in the neutral zone, where Cleary guided the puck with his curve toward the blue line. In stride, Zetterberg picked up the puck, moved in on a partial breakaway and beat Rinne on the backhand from the inner rim of the right circle.
This marked the opener of a four-game homestand for the Preds, who fell to 14-10-1 on home ice this season...The Red Wings were 2-for-7 on the power play, while the Preds were 1-for-3 with the extra skater...Zetterberg has 20 goals this season and Datsyuk now has 24...Rafalski notched three assists.
02/11 03:50:31 ET