Red Wings Hold Off Predators for 5-2 Win

The Detroit Red Wings jumped out to a 4-0 lead Friday night and held on for a 5-2 win over the visiting Nashville Predators.

The Predators had pulled back to within two goals early in the third period but Henrik Zetterberg scored into the empty net in the game’s closing seconds to wrap things up.

Pavel Datsyuk opened the game’s scoring 7:44 into the first period. Datsyuk caught up with Nashville defenseman Kevin Klein behind the Predators’ net, poked the puck away from him as they wrapped around the side of the goal, then faked out goalie Dan Ellis at the top of the crease before backhanding a shot into the net over Ellis’ glove.

Tomas Holmstrom gave the Wings a 2-0 lead with 6:00 remaining in the period on a Detroit power play. Nicklas Lidstrom threw the puck on net from the right wing and it bounced off a Nashville defender to Holmstrom on the far side of a wide open net.

Darren Helm scored just 3:35 into the second period to extend Detroit’s lead. He gloved the puck down in the left faceoff circle and cut to the high slot before spinning around and snapping a shot off of Ellis’ shoulder and in.

Helm added a shorthanded goal at 9:10 of the middle period. He raced down the left wing to fire a shot that was stopped by Ellis. Helm continued driving to the goal and snatched up the rebound after Ryan Suter couldn’t control it, lifting a shot over the sprawling Ellis.

The Predators got on the board 1:44 later, when J.P. Dumont scored on a three-on-one.

Joel Ward made it 4-2 at 3:15 of the third period, blasting a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard after the Red Wings failed to clear their own zone.

Howard finished the night with 20 saves on 22 Nashville shots. Ellis stopped 27 of Detroit’s 31 chances.

Detroit finished the night 1-for-3 on the power play while Nashville was scoreless on four chances with the extra attacker.


The Red Wings played the game in their road white jerseys… The assist by Lidstrom on Holmstrom’s goal was the 800th of his career.

Red Wings – Predators Postgame Notes

Compare Wednesday’s game against Vancouver and tonight’s matchup vs. Nashville and it’d be tough to believe they featured the same Red Wings team.

Jimmy Howard looked sharp, the forecheck was strong and the defense was sound positionally for most of the night against the Predators.

Negatives? Three of the four goals (not counting the ENG) were on amazing individual efforts rather than great team play and the fourth included a lucky bounce. Of course, as Mickey Redmond is fond of saying, “They don’t ask ‘How?’ just ‘How many?'”

The Nashville goals came on mental lapses and on most nights the Wings can’t afford that. Tonight they could but it’s something to be concerned about.

The two points are huge no matter what led to them. Detroit now sits three points back of Nashville with two games to play between the teams. No matter what else happens tonight, the Red Wings won’t drop out of eighth spot in the Western Conference. That’s a successful night.