Seventh Heaven: NHL-Best Wings Extend Streak With Win Over Preds

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Concentrating on protecting a one-goal lead in the third period, Detroit goalie Chris Osgood couldn't help but notice how Valtteri Filppula was still zipping around the ice.

Tomas Kopecky and Filppula scored first-period goals and the Red Wings won their seventh straight, 2-1 over the Nashville Predators.

"He was still flying around in the third period," Osgood said. "He has a ton of energy. He is a big, strong kid. As we go along he gets better and better. He is getting more minutes and he is doing really well with them."

Filppula was awarded a penalty shot after he was tripped by Jerred Smithson while he skated toward the net at 15:06 in the first. Predators goalie Dan Ellis went low to block the shot, and Filppula shot it over the goalie for a 2-0 lead.

"I'm glad that was called," Filppula said. "I could not get a shot off after that. I think that is the biggest reason the penalty shot was called.

"He just hit my legs. I think it was a pretty clear tripping call."

Kopecky opened the scoring 7:10 into the game, firing a one-timer from inside the right circle that found the net between Ellis and the left post.

"I actually thought we were really ready to play," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "All in all, when you go through our lineup we had a lot of strong contributions against a good team. It was a good win for us."

The Predators cut the Detroit lead to 2-1 with 24 seconds left in the second period. After failing to score on three power-play attempts in the period, the Predators got a short-handed goal. David Legwand was skating in on a breakaway and lost the puck. Martin Gelinas, following behind, shot the loose puck between the leg pads of goalie Osgood.

"We had a little bit of a rough start and it made it tough to come back," said Gelinas. "They play the puck well and don't give you too much. We got the short-handed goal, and we got a lot of chances, but we couldn't buy another goal."

The Predators outshot the Red Wings in the third period 13-10.

"We ran out of gas a little bit in the third," Osgood said. "We didn't possess the puck as much as we usually do and that was forcing us to be in our end a lot."

Detroit out shot Nashville 35-31. Both teams were unable to score on the power play. The Red Wings were 0-for-6 and the Predators were 0-for-7.

"The No. 1 thing for us was our penalty kill was great," Osgood said. "We got in a lot of shooting lanes and pushed them to the outside. Nashville tried a few cross-ice passes and we were there to deflect them away or get a stick on them. We did a good job with our sticks in blocking shots."


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