Pavel Datsyuk scored with 5.8 seconds remaining in regulation Friday night, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators for their twenty-second consecutive home victory.
The win extends Detroit’s own record for the most wins in a row at home in a single season and ties the record set across two seasons by the 1929-30 and 1930-31 Boston Bruins.
The Red Wings won an offensive-zone faceoff with fifteen seconds remaining but the puck came out to neutral ice, where Nicklas Lidstrom picked it up and sent a pass to Henrik Zetterberg on the left wing boards. Zetterberg got to the puck and spun to send it back across to Datsyuk, who faked around defenseman Ryan Suter and snapped a shot over the glove of goaltender Pekka Rinne.
It was the second point of the night for Datsyuk, as he assisted on the game’s opening goal.
With 7:16 left in the first period, Datsyuk carried the puck down the left wing into the Nashville end and turned away from defender Shea Weber, losing an edge and sliding into the boards. From his stomach, Datsyuk sent a pass through Weber to Todd Bertuzzi, who carried the puck to the bottom of the left circle and fed Johan Franzen in the slot for a shot past Rinne.
Nick Spaling scored the Predators’ lone goal of the game. With 5:02 left in the second, Jordin Tootoo took the puck from Detroit defender Jakub Kindl in the left corner and sent it to Spaling alone in the slot for a shot past netminder Joey MacDonald, tying the game.
MacDonald stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced in picking up his fifth consecutive win. Rinne stopped 29 of 31 Detroit shots.
Neither team scored a power play goal on the night, with the Red Wings having only one chance with the extra attacker and the Predators having two.
The Red Wings close out their six-game homestand on Sunday when they host the San Jose Sharks.
The assist on Datsyuk’s game-winning goal was the 600th point of Zetterberg’s career… Zetterberg had been expected to miss the game with a knee injury suffered against Dallas on Tuesday. Tomas Tatar was called up to take his place in the lineup but Zetterberg was able to play… Jimmy Howard and Danny Cleary remained out of the lineup, with Cleary having been placed on short-term injured reserved to make room for Tatar… Mike Commodore was a healthy scratch.