Red Wings end three-game skid with 3-2 victory over Predators
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Goalie Jimmy Howard feels really, really comfortable playing at Bridgestone Arena.
Howard made 32 saves with a handful early and a flurry late to help the struggling Detroit Red Wings beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 Tuesday night to snap a three-game skid.
“I’ve played in this building a lot,” Howard said. “In the first period, they are going to come out hard, a lot of pucks are going to go to the net and the crowd is going to be into it. You’ve got to find a way to take them out of it, and we did that by getting one in the first.”
Andreas Athanasiou scored the game-winner at 4:08 of the third period.
Luke Glendening had a goal and an assist, Nick Jensen had two assists and Dylan Larkin also had a goal for Detroit.
“Jimmy was excellent when he needed to be,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “We competed hard for sure.”
Viktor Arvidsson and P.K. Subban scored for Nashville, which now has lost three straight for its longest skid since losing four straight Dec. 17-22. Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg had two assists apiece.
Nashville finished the game with a man advantage after Danny DeKeyser went to the box with 55.9 seconds left, took a timeout and couldn’t beat Howard to force overtime.
“I think we had a lot of chances, especially in the first,” Nashville captain Roman Josi said. “Just didn’t score on them. The second was kind of back and forth and 2-2 going into the third, we’ve got to find a way to win the game and we didn’t.
The Red Wings came in ahead of only Ottawa in the NHL. But Detroit has not lost in Nashville since Dec. 30, 2013, a span of five games, and the Red Wings have taken nine of the last 10 in this series between the former Central Division rivals.
Nashville, which lost back-to-back games to St. Louis over the weekend, opened the game outshooting the Red Wings 6-1. Only Howard making some great saves, including on Yannick Weber early, kept it scoreless. Glendening redirected the puck shot from the point by Nick Jensen, and the puck went off Pekka Rinne’s right shoulder into the net for a 1-0 lead at 15:05 of the first.
Larkin made it 2-0 for Detroit with a wrister on the power play at 7:13 of the second. Arvidsson, who came in leading the NHL with 16 goals since Dec. 31, got Nashville on the board with a slap shot off the post just 36 seconds later with his 25th of the season.
The Predators have struggled mightily with the man advantage this season, and they had converted only 2 of 46 over the past 14 games when Subban added another at 17:32 of the second. He scored his fifth of the season off a slap shot tying it up at 2.
Nashville has won only once when tied after two periods this season, and not even starting the third on a power play helped. Detroit took a 3-2 lead at 4:08 when Athanasiou threw a backhander at the net from the right, and the puck went off Rinne’s arm just above his glove.
“I saw the rebound just kind of kick out and it was on my backhand, so I just tried to get it on net,” said Athanasiou, who ended an 11-game goal drought. “It ended up being a backhand clapper. I don’t do it too often, but I’m happy it worked out.”
NOTES: Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader passed Bruce MacGregor for 20th in franchise history with 675 games. … Nashville dropped to 1-5-1 when tied after the second period. .. Arvidsson now has 11 goals in his last 11 games and 20 points (17 goals, 3 assists) in the 22 games since returning from a broken thumb Dec. 27. … Johansen extended his point streak to a season-best five games with two goals and six assists. … Subban’s goal was his first on the power play this season. …
Red Wings: Host Ottawa on Thursday night.
Predators: Host Montreal on Thursday night.