The Detroit Red Wings fended off a late comeback attempt by the Nashville Predators Tuesday night en route to their fifth consecutive win after losing five-straight games.
Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa each scored to give the Red Wings an early 3-0 lead but the Predators battled back to 3-2 and 4-3 before Datsyuk added an empty-net goal to wrap up the game.
The Wings threw 27 shots at Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne in the first period, setting a new franchise record for the opening frame of a game. With a 51-shot total on the game, it was the fourth time in franchise history that the Red Wings have taken at least 50 shots on the Predators. No other team has done it once.
Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring 5:02 into the game, lifting the rebound of a Brian Rafalski shot over Rinne.
Datsyuk stretched the Wings’ lead to 2-0 with 9:43 left in the first, scoring on a snap-shot from the top of the left faceoff circle on a Detroit power play.
At 4:18 of the second, Hossa scored from the left circle on another Red Wings’ man-advantage.
Radek Bonk deflected a long Jason Arnott shot 1:12 later for a Nashville power play goal and Joel Ward scored on a rebound with 8:37 left in the middle frame to pull the Predators to within a goal.
Zetterberg added a second goal just 3:10 into the third, putting a backhander over Rinne’s shoulder after being sprung by a long pass by Rafalski.
Ward pulled the Predators back in it with 9:24 left, pushing past Rafalski and cutting across the crease to beat netminder Ty Conklin.
Datsyuk’s empty-net goal came with 12 seconds left in the game.
Conklin stopped 18 of 21 shots against. Rinne made 46 saves on 50 shots.