Ryan Suter scored just 16 seconds into overtime on Saturday, giving the Nashville Predators a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings after Pavel Datsyuk had scored late for Detroit to force the extra period.
Two Detroit defenders moved to pressure Joel Ward after he led the Predators into the Wings’ zone. Ward sent the puck to Suter in the right faceoff circle, where he snapped a shot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard for the win.
Datsyuk had one-timed a pass from Tomas Holmstrom past Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne with 37 seconds left in regulation to tie the game, 3-3.
Detroit’s Brian Rafalski opened the game’s scoring with a power play goal with 1:45 left in the first period.
From the seat of his pants, Datsyuk passed the puck down to Holmstrom, who sent it from the side of the goal to Johan Franzen in the crease. Franzen moved it to Rafalski in the left circle and continued to the front of the net, with Rafalski snapping a shot past Rinne through Franzen’s screen.
The Predators responded early in the second with two goals to take the lead.
Shea Weber blasted a shot past Howard 1:36 into the period, taking advantage of the Red Wings’ failure to freeze the puck with two injured players on the ice.
Martin Erat evaded heavy defensive coverage to snap a shot past Howard 4:25 later.
Nicklas Lidstrom tied the game back up with 3:59 left in the second but J.P. Dumont put the Predators back in front with 43 seconds left in the period.
The Red Wings’ first goal was the lone power play tally of the game. Detroit had three chances with the extra attacker while Nashville at two.
Rinne stopped 28 of 31 Detroit shots. Howard made 20 saves on 24 Nashville chances.
The Red Wings are now two points behind the Predators in the Western Conference standings but have two games in hand. One of those games will be Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.
Detroit was without Danny Cleary for the third consecutive game. Derek Meech filled in at forward in his absence.