Valtteri Filppula scored two goals and added an assist Saturday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators.
Filppula opened the game’s scoring with 6:37 remaining in the first period, lifting a backhander from an acute angle over sprawled Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne after a Todd Bertuzzi chance bounced off the post.
Henrik Zetterberg made it 2-0 just 1:31 into the second period. Zetterberg picked drifted backwards from in close to Rinne, outwaiting him before firing a shot from the left faceoff circle into the top of the net.
At 8:34 of the period, Filppula’s second put the Red Wings up by three. Jakub Kindl threw a shot towards the net that was deflected by both Jiri Hudler and Filppula to get past Rinne.
Danny Cleary finished off Detroit’s scoring at 4:03 of the third period. Darren Helm stole the puck from Mike Fisher as the Predators attempted to clear their zone, then sent a pass to Cleary in the right faceoff circle for a one-timer past Rinne.
Nashville’s lone goal came 1:31 later, when Jack Hillen snuck in behind Helm and Jonathan Ericsson in the slot to take a pass from Colin Wilson and tip it past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.
Howard, making his fifteenth consecutive start, needed to make only 18 saves on 19 shots. Detroit held Nashville to only eight shots in the game’s first forty minutes.
Rinne made 33 saves on the Red Wings’ 37 shots.
Filppula’s first goal was the only power play tally of the night. Detroit had two chances with the extra attacker while Nashville had three,
After three games in four nights, the Red Wings are off until Wednesday when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Detroit forward Patrick Eaves left the game late in the third period after taking a Roman Josi shot to the side of his head. He was taken to the Detroit Medical Center for observation, where he is expected to be held overnight… Cory Emmerton, Fabian Brunnstrom and Mike Commodore were the Red Wings’ healthy scratches.