In the first completed game between the top two teams in the Central Division, the Detroit Red Wings earned a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators. Detroit took a six point lead in the standings with the victory.
The Red Wings scored twice in the third period to secure the win.
Just 2:00 into the period, Jason Williams gave the Red Wings the lead when he was left all alone in front of the net on a broken play. Mikael Samuelsson got the puck to him and he lifted it over Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun on a backhand shot.
Nicklas Lidstrom scored his second goal of the night with 6:53 left in the game. With Detroit on the power play, Steve Yzerman sent a cross-ice pass to Lidstrom at the top of the right circle. The goal was originally credited to Brendan Shanahan, who was screening the Nashville goalie in front of the crease and could have tipped the shot.
Nashville had opened the game’s scoring on a power play with 6:05 left in the first.
After a shot from the blue line was knocked aside, Vernon Fiddler picked up the rebound, got control of the puck, and put it past Detroit netminder Manny Legace.
The Red Wings tied the game with 2:44 left in the second period on Lidstrom’s first power play goal, a blast down the slot from the blue line.
Legace finished the game with 29 saves on 30 shots in his second game in as many nights after returning from injury. Vokoun made 33 saves on 36 shots.
Detroit went two-for-seven on the power play and held Nashville to one goal on four chances with the man-advantage.
The Red Wings will be back in action on Sunday when they host the Dallas Stars.
Johan Franzen did not play after suffering a mild injury Thursday night against St. Louis. Mark Mowers took his place… Yzerman’s assist tied him with Gordie Howe for seventh all-time in NHL assists.