Detroit Red Wings
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Game Recap

Red Wings 4, Predators 3

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Lindsey Ungar - Special Writer

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Red Wings 4, Predators 3
Nashville Predators 3, Detroit Red Wings 4
DETROIT — Injuries plagued the Red Wings during a February slump that saw them win just once in three weeks. And while players including All-Star defensemen Brian Rafalski and Nicklas Lidstrom have since returned to the lineup, you need to look down the roster to find the player that has led Detroit to three straight wins in less than a week.

Right wing Johan Franzen.

Franzen notched two goals against the Nashville Predators on Sunday afternoon in a 4-3 win, including the game-winning goal at 16:27 of the second period. Sunday saw the continuation of Franzen’s three-game goal scoring streak — the longest of his career — after notching the game winners in Detroit’s previous two games against Buffalo and St. Louis. The wins ended a 3-5-1 slump for the NHL’s top team.

With Tomas Holmstrom out of the lineup with a groin injury, Franzen took his place atop the Nashville crease on the power play. Franzen deflected a hard Henrik Zetterberg pass from the sideboards past Predators netminder Chris Mason to give Detroit the early lead on the power play.

Franzen’s second goal: same spot, different period. This time blinding Mason with his 6-foot-3 frame, Franzen redirected Lidstrom’s point shot through the five hole, giving Detroit a 4-0 lead with just over three minutes left in the second.

“He’s got great hand-eye coordination,” Lidstrom said. “We’ve worked a lot in practice on just taking shots from the point and him trying to tip it in. It worked out for us today.”

Lidstrom’s return reunited the top defensive pairing of Lidstrom and Rafalski for the first time since Feb. 12 — the last time the Wings faced the Predators. Lidstrom had missed six games since injuring his knee in a collision with Colorado’s Ian Laperriere on Feb. 18. Lidstrom tallied two assists in his comeback, and Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he will play on Tuesday against the Blackhawks.

“It felt great to be back in the game again,” Lidstrom said. “I felt a little rustier in the first period, got caught standing still a couple times not reading the play and reacting as quick as you want. Once I got over that hump, I felt comfortable out there.”

Jiri Hudler gave Detroit a 2-0 lead at 15:43 of the first period on the power play. Brad Stuart added his first goal as a Wing since being acquired at the trade deadline from the Los Angeles Kings.

The Red Wings held the Predators scoreless through 40 minutes, but Nashville destroyed the seemingly perfect game late in the third, scoring three goals in the final eight and half minutes. Nashville defenseman Shea Weber broke Hasek’s shutout with a point shot on the power play, and Martin Erat and Jordin Tootoo added late goals.

“A win is a win,” Babcock said. “We’ve won three in a row here and it just continues to build confidence. Anytime you have a tough stretch like we did, and then you get your players back, you want to continue to win and just feel good about who you are.”

Goaltender Dominik Hasek started his fourth consecutive game for the first time this season. He faced just 23 shots, and the most action he saw until the third period was a collision with Nashville defenseman Dan Hamhuis late in the middle frame. Hasek went to play the puck behind the net and was blindsided by Hamhuis’ shoulder. Hamhuis was whistled for an interference penalty, and the Detroit trainer briefly aided Hasek, who remained in the game.

Detroit and Nashville will play each other three more times this month in a Central Division-game laden schedule. There is a possibility that the games will preview a first-round playoff matchup, since Nashville is tied with eighth-place Vancouver with 78 points. Detroit leads the season series with Nashville 3-2.

GAME NOTES: Detroit’s three power play goals tie the most it has scored at home all season (12/15/07 in 5-2 win against Florida). … Johan Franzen has scored in three straight games for the first time in his career. It’s also the first time Franzen has scored two goals in one game. … Coincidentally, the last time Brad Stuart scored a goal was Feb. 7 against the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. … Nashville allowed three power play goals, tying the most allowed by the Predators this season (10/27/07 in 4-3 win vs. Florida). … Brett Lebda (flu), Chris Chelios (chipped fibula), Tomas Holmstrom (groin), Dan Cleary (fractured jaw) and Darren McCarty (ribs) missed the game.

scoring summary
1st Period
PPG - Johan Franzen (15) ASST: Henrik Zetterberg (41), Nicklas Lidstrom (51)
1 - 0 DET
PPG - Jiri Hudler (12) ASST: Niklas Kronwall (25), Valtteri Filppula (15)
2 - 0 DET
2nd Period
Brad Stuart (6) ASST: Mikael Samuelsson (27), Niklas Kronwall (26)
3 - 0 DET
PPG - Johan Franzen (16) ASST: Nicklas Lidstrom (52), Pavel Datsyuk (54)
4 - 0 DET
3rd Period
PPG - Shea Weber (6) ASST: Marek Zidlicky (36), Jason Arnott (40)
4 - 1 DET
PPG - Martin Erat (22) ASST: Scott Nichol (8), Dan Hamhuis (21)
4 - 2 DET
Jordin Tootoo (10) ASST: Martin Erat (30), Jan Hlavac (17)
4 - 3 DET
penalty summary
1st Period
Ryan Suter  Interference against  Dallas Drake
Mark Hartigan  Slashing against  Shea Weber
Greg De Vries  Holding against  Valtteri Filppula
Jerred Smithson  Charging against  Mikael Samuelsson
Greg De Vries  Interference against  Henrik Zetterberg
Radek Bonk  Tripping against  Valtteri Filppula
2nd Period
Jiri Hudler  Holding against  Martin Erat
Mikael Samuelsson  Tripping against  Ryan Suter
Dominik Hasek  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
Dan Hamhuis  Interference on goalkeeper against  Dominik Hasek
3rd Period
Vernon Fiddler  Hi-sticking against  Valtteri Filppula
Nicklas Lidstrom  Hooking against  Alexander Radulov
Andreas Lilja  Holding against  Alexander Radulov
Radek Bonk  Roughing against  Pavel Datsyuk
Niklas Kronwall  Holding against  Vernon Fiddler
goalie stats
Chris Mason
Chris Mason
SA: 33TOI: 58:26
Saves: 29EV: 16 - 17
PIM: 0PP: 11 - 14
SV%: .879SH: 2 - 2
Dominik Hasek
Dominik Hasek
SA: 23TOI: 59:58
Saves: 20EV: 16 - 17
PIM: 2PP: 3 - 5
SV%: .870SH: 1 - 1 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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