Red Wings come back to down Predators

Nashville, TN ( – Tomas Tatar and Alexey Marchenko each
scored third-period goals to rally the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-3 win over
Nashville and deal the Predators their first home losing streak of the season.

Drew Miller added a goal and an assist and Jonas Gustavsson came up with 37
saves to help the Red Wings prevail against a Nashville team that owns the
NHL’s best home record at 26-5-1.

Brendan Smith also scored for Detroit, which finished off a successful six-
game road trip in which it went 4-1-1.

“It was a good trip for us,” Tatar said. “We proved we can play with the best
teams in the league. We were strong the whole trip, and I think we’re really
happy with how it (went) for us.”

The Predators were coming off a 4-2 setback to Minnesota Thursday at
Bridgestone Arena, however, and Saturday’s result marked the first time this
season the Western Conference leaders have dropped back-to-back games in

“There are things we need to do better,” Predators head coach Peter Laviolette
said afterward. “I think we can and will do better, but they are playing hard.
We will fix those things and be ready.”

Pekka Rinne stopped just 21-of-25 shots in this one, failing to protect a 3-2
lead he was given on consecutive second-period goals from Matt Cullen, Mike
Fisher and Shea Weber. Cullen recorded an assist as well in defeat.

Tatar drew a tripping penalty to Fisher with the game tied at 3-3 just over
eight minutes into the third period, then put the Red Wings back in front on
the resulting power play.

Niklas Kronwall set up the eventual game-winner with a pass to Pavel Datsyuk,
who gave the puck to Tatar for a backhand attempt that Rinne wasn’t able to

The Red Wings were able to stay ahead by killing off a pair of penalties in
the final six minutes, with Rinne pulled for an extra attacker for the
majority of the last.

Marchenko evened the contest with just under four minutes elapsed in the third
on his first career NHL goal, a high wrister from the right circle that Rinne
also wasn’t able to snag with his glove.

The Predators were down 2-0 after Miller skated nearly the length of the ice
near the end of a 4-on-4 and beat Rinne stick-side 2:03 into the second
period. They quickly answered, however, as Cullen won a faceoff in the Detroit
zone before tapping in the rebound of Roman Josi’s blast 30 seconds following
Miller’s score.

Nashville maintained the momentum over the remainder of the period,
outshooting the Red Wings by a 16-8 margin for the session and pulling even
when Fisher connected off a nifty no-look, behind-the-net give from Cullen at

The Predators later capitalized on a 4-on-3 advantage to move in front on
Weber’s rocket one-timer 3:52 prior to the second intermission.

“We started good, and then somehow we got soft in the second period,” Red
Wings head coach Mike Babcock said. “Turnovers, didn’t win enough battles and
then we got in the third and played better.”

Smith recorded the lone goal of the opening period, with the defenseman
finishing a rush by depositing a pass from Joakim Andersson into the top
right corner 7:22 in.

Game Notes

The Red Wings swept the season series, having posted a 5-2 win over Nashville
in Detroit on Jan. 17 … Weber had gone five straight games without a point
coming in, the standout defensemen’s longest stretch since a nine-game run
from Jan. 19-Feb. 5, 2013 … Kronwall finished with two assists for Detroit,
while Josi had a pair of helpers for the Preds … Both teams went 1-for-5 on
the power play.