Preds Hand NHL-Best Wings Fourth Straight Loss

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Nashville Predators are getting lots of offense lately, especially from their line of Jason Arnott, Alexander Radulov and J.P. Dumont.

"Every line has realized it is do-or-die for us," Dumont said. "We all want to make the big play or score the big goal."

The trio combined for two goals and three assists as the Predators jumped out to a three-goal lead in the first period and held on for a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.

Nashville has scored 13 times in its last three games.

"Every line is going, which makes it easier for everybody," Dumont said. "We are a really good team when we all play together. When you keep your head up and stay confident, good things are going to happen."

Radulov and Dumont both scored goals in the first, while Dumont added an assist and Arnott assisted on two goals. Radulov scored his second of the game in the second period.

"When they are paying attention to playing a real heads-up game -- a give-and-go pro game instead of one-on-one situations -- they have a lot of good pieces," coach Barry Trotz said. "They made some great plays off of the transition and rush."

It was the fourth straight loss for the Red Wings.

The Predators struck quickly with three first-period goals on four shots. The third goal, at 8:49 by Dumont, sent Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood to the bench. Osgood was replaced by Jimmy Howard.

"We hung Osgood out to dry," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "It's not like we can go back and say they shot it through him. We drifted on two plays and they got it behind us, and then bang, it was in the net. The third one was a line change where we turned it over in the neutral zone while our guys were trying to get off of the ice."

Radulov scored first at 2:25 when he skated in front of the crease and fired a shot from a few feet away that went into the left side of the net as Osgood stretched on the ice in vain to stop it.

At 3:42, Erat scored from almost the same spot, again beating Osgood to the left. Erat was playing for the first time after missing the last two games with back spasms.

"Marty was real good," Trotz said. "His injury is one of those nagging injuries that take a little steam out of you. I played him probably a little less than I normally do. I want to get him healthy because we have ton of games coming up."

Dumont's goal was also from the left side from just a few feet away as the puck went behind Osgood and into the net.

Franzen got Detroit on the scoreboard at the 4:39 mark of the second period. He blasted a one-timer from the top edge of the left circle that went under the glove of Chris Mason for a power-play goal.

Radulov struck again at 14:26 of the second period when Erat passed him the puck and he skated toward Howard one-on-one and beat him with a shot between his leg pads.

"That fourth goal ended up being a really huge one because they had a lot of momentum and were coming at us," Trotz said. "Detroit is never out of a game. We couldn't get that fourth goal for a while. We needed it because even though your team might have three goals, Detroit is capable of scoring five."

The Red Wings scored their second power-play goal of the game at 17:41. Nicklas Lidstrom bounced the puck off the back board with a long shot, Datsyuk controlled the rebound and shot the puck behind Mason from low on the left side.

The Red Wings outshot the Predators 42-23, the fourth straight game Nashville has been outshot. Mason expected to have a busy game.

"Detroit shoots everything and they go to the net," Mason said. "They work extremely hard and they just bang away at you. You don't even see half of their shots because they have guys standing in front of you. As a goaltender, you always have to be ready against them."


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