NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Detroit
(Saturday, April 3rd)
Final Score: Nashville 4, Detroit 3 (OT)
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Ryan Suter scored just 16 seconds into overtime, and the Nashville Predators recovered after giving up a goal late in regulation to post a 4-3 win over Detroit and clinch a playoff berth.
Joel Ward skated into the Detroit zone and waited for a pair of defenders to attack him before sending a pass to Suter, who had a clear path to the net and beat Jimmy Howard stick-side from the right circle.
"They score with 40 seconds left in the game, and you don't want to get in (with an overtime loss)," Suter said. "It wouldn't feel good on the way home. For us to come out and finish it out was good for us."
Suter added an assist, while Ward had two helpers for the Predators, who moved two points ahead of the Red Wings for fifth in the West with two games to play. Nashville is also two points behind Phoenix for fourth.
Shea Weber, Martin Erat and J.P. Dumont also scored for the Preds, who snapped a four-game losing streak to Detroit, including a 1-0 loss in an 11-round shootout last Saturday. Pekka Rinne made 28 saves.
Pavel Datsyuk scored with 36.4 ticks left in the third to ensure that the Red Wings earned a point despite having their seven-game win streak snapped. Detroit, with 96 points and four games left, is two points ahead of seventh- place Los Angeles and seven ahead of eighth-place Colorado and ninth-place Calgary.
Howard stopped only 20-of-24 shots in defeat, although Detroit ran its points streak to 12 games (10-0-2).
"Every point is huge down the stretch, and we're still fighting for position in the playoffs," Howard said. "(Nashville) got a couple lucky bounces, but the guys kept digging, and it was really good to steal a point there."
Nashville looked to be skating to a victory late in the third with a one-goal lead, but the Red Wings tallied with under a minute left to send the game to overtime.
Tomas Holmstrom held the puck down low near the boards and quickly dished to the right circle for Datsyuk, who was able to one-time a shot past Rinne.
Detroit scored the lone goal of the first period, as Brian Rafalski solved Rinne from a wide angle near the net with 1:45 left in the frame and Detroit on a man advantage.
Weber tied the game 1:36 into the second on a point blast from above the right circle, and Erat gave Nashville its first lead at 5:01 on a spin-o-rama from the slot that saw a forehand wrister elude Howard for a 2-1 game.
Nicklas Lidstrom brought the Red Wings even with 3:59 to go in the period with a slapshot from the slot that was perfectly placed into the top right corner, but Dumont gave the Preds a 3-2 lead heading to the third with a one-timer from the slot with 42.5 ticks to go.
Nashville has won five straight on the road and is 10-2-1 over its last 13 games...Detroit had a seven-game home win streak snapped...The Red Wings still won the season series, 4-2...Holmstrom had three assists...Nashville went 0- for-2 on the power play and is now without a power play goal in its last 27 opportunities...The Predators tied a single-season franchise record with their 23rd road victory...Nashville head coach Barry Trotz coached his 900th game with the Predators and tied former Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman for sixth on the all-time wins list with one team (410)...Detroit has played in four straight one-goal games...Nashville has gone to overtime in five of its last nine contests.
04/03 19:02:17 ET