NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Detroit Red Wings had enough left at the end of a long trip to beat the NHL’s best home team.
Tomas Tatar broke a tie on a power play at 9:06 of the third period in Detroit’s 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday.
”We’re feeling good about ourselves right now,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. ”We know in this league, it’s all about the one you are playing.”
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Tatar carried the puck toward the Nashville net and fired a backhander that deflected off Predators defenseman Roman Josi’s stick and past goalie Pekka Rinne. Tatar leads the Red Wings with 25 goals.
”We stuck together and battled like a team and scored a few goals,” Tatar said. ”When we were down just one goal, we said we will stick with the plan and do what we do.”
Alexey Marchenko scored his first NHL goal, and Brendan Smith, Drew Miller also scored to help Detroit win its second straight game. Matt Cullen, Mike Fisher, and Shea Weber scored for Nashville. The Predators have lost consecutive games in regulation time for the first time this season.
”They scored four goals,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. ”I thought we played good, but stopped playing in the third period. It wasn’t a lot of easy ice and we just came out on the short side.”
Marchenko tied it at 3 at 3:56 of the third. With the teams skating 4-on-4, Marchenko’s wrist shot from the right circle beat Rinne underneath the crossbar.
”You want it to happen as quick as possible,” Marchenko said. ”When you get it, you get a bit more confidence that you can score in the NHL.”
Smith opened the scoring at 7:22 of the opening period.
Stephen Weiss had the puck in the right circle. Trailing the play, Smith took a pass from Weiss in the slot and beat Rinne over the glove with a wrist shot for his fourth goal of the season.
Nashville’s opponents have scored the first goal in seven consecutive games.
Miller doubled the lead at 2:03 of the second when he wristed a shot under Rinne’s right arm.
Nashville scored 30 seconds later when Cullen picked up a loose puck just outside the crease and slid it by goalie Jonas Gustavsson. Fisher tied it 6:02 of the second with a wrist shot from the slot that beat Gustavsson high to the glove side.
”Teams are in battles for the playoffs and finding their game as well,” Cullen said. ”I think that we have another level. I didn’t think that we quite got to that tonight.”
The Predators took the lead with 3:52 left in the second on Weber’s power-play goal.
Nashville’s Colin Wilson and Tatar were serving coincidental unsportsmanlike conduct penalties when Smith was sent off for holding, giving Nashville a 4-on-3 advantage.
From the right boards, Mike Ribeiro sent a pass to Weber in the high slot, where he stepped into a one-timer that sailed by Gustavsson. Weber won the NHL’s Hardest Shot competition during this season’s All-Star Skill Competition with a shot that registered 108.5 mph.
Notes: Miller played 400th game for Detroit. … Detroit is 10-0-2 against Central Division teams this season. … Cullen has a three-game points streak. … Josi had two assists. The Red Wings concluded a six-game road trip of Western Conference opponents 4-1-1… Detroit C Darren Helm left the game in the first with an upper-body injury and did not return.