The Nashville Predators continued their upward climb through the standings with a 3-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in front of a national TV audience on Versus. Martin Erat scored twice (his first multi-goal game of the season), and Pekka Rinne made 30 saves for his sixth straight win.
Combined with a loss by Columbus in New York, the Preds have now risen to 2nd place in the Central Division.
After the jump you'll find the video highlights, recap, and advanced even-strength statistics...
Once again, the Nashville power play came through, with Jason Arnott scoring in the first and Martin Erat adding a goal in the 2nd to give the Preds a 2-0 lead. Nashville earned four power play chances by taking advantage of the slowest Detroit forwards, Tomas Holmstrom and Todd Bertuzzi, who took two minor penalties each.
The Red Wings did close the gap to 2-1 about five minutes after Erat's goal, as Drew Miller powered his way to the net off the sideboards and stuffed the puck short-side past Pekka Rinne.
In the 3rd period, Detroit came out determined to tie the score, dominating the flow of the game (outshooting Nashville 14-3 on the period at one point), but Rinne stood tall in his crease.
To be honest, at 6'5", Pekka stands tall just about anywhere, but you get the idea.
Erat capped off his big night with Nashville's 3rd goal at 17:40 of the third, taking a feed from Jordin Tootoo and ripping it past Chris Osgood for his 4th of the season. If Erat can start producing like this regularly, the Predators could have the scoring depth they've been looking for.
During a furious finish the Red Wings clanked a shot off the post during the final minute, but the Preds hung on for their seventh straight victory on home ice (tied for the 2nd-best streak in team history), and 10th in their last 12 games.
Looking at the Even Strength statistics, it becomes clear what a big night this was for Nashville's depth players. The top line of Sullivan-Arnott-Dumont had a rough time against the likes of Datsyuk and Zetterberg, but for the Predators, the two lines of Erat-Goc-Tootoo and Hornqvist-Santorelli-Thuresson put forth great efforts. The shot numbers look especially skewed given the hailstorm of shots Detroit fired in the 3rd period (16 of their 31).
|Even Strength||Individual Totals||Team Totals While Player Is On Ice|
|Player||Pos||EV TOI||Shots||Shts Blkd||Missed Shts||Blocks||SOG For||SOG Ag||SOG +/-||Tot SF||Tot SA||Corsi|
|J P Dumont||R||12:15||0||1||0||0||1||11||-10||4||21||-17|