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Detroit
Red Wings
Nashville
Predators

22 SOG
32 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
DET
NSH
game recap

Howard shines in Wings' win over Preds

Monday, 12.26.2011 / 10:52 PM

NHL.com

Three Stars of the Game
Jimmy Howard
1st
SA: 32TOI: 60:00
GA: 1EV: 24-25
PIM: 0PP: 5-5
SV%: .969SH: 2-2
Valtteri Filppula
2nd
G: 2Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 17:22
Pavel Datsyuk
3rd
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 16:37
Jimmy Howard made sure the Detroit Red Wings didn't suffer a third straight loss Monday night.

Howard stopped 31 of 32 shots to help the Red Wings stop a two-game skid with a 4-1 win against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

"We did a great job of countering them in the first 10 minutes," Howard said. "The Predators do a great job early, but we came out mentally refreshed. We didn't look gassed or anything like that. We skated extra time during the morning skate to stretch our legs.

"The first 10 minutes here you just have to survive. We did a great job of counter punching."

The Predators, who have lost two straight and three of four, held an 8-7 advantage in shots on goal in the first period, but the Red Wings scored the only goal. Filppula fired a shot from high in the slot that beat Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne low to his right side with 9:03 to go in the period.

"We had more chances than Detroit, but the start of the game was all Jimmy Howard," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "He made some key saves at key times. We had lots of quality chances but we just couldn't convert them."

Valtteri Filppula scored the first and last goals for the Red Wings -- one in the first and another in the third.

Filppula struck for the second time when he capped off a flurry of shots with a wrister from low in the right circle 5:22 into the third period.

In the second period, the Red Wings got two goals in 13 seconds. Pavel Datsyuk scored on a wrap-around as he squeezed the puck between the left post and Rinne with 7:08 left. The play was reviewed before the goal was officially announced.

"One of the linesmen saw it and he thought it was definitely in," Trotz said. "As I said to them, the puck was probably in but I don't know if it was conclusively in."

With 6:55 to go in the period, Danny Cleary sent a wrister from the low inside edge of the right circle past Rinne glove side.

"It was key to get two quick goals, especially doing it on the road," Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "We got the first goal but I thought we didn't slow down at all. We just kept playing our game and getting opportunities."

The Predators squandered five power-play chances.

"We did an excellent job on the penalty kill," Howard said. "We kept it simple. When we got the puck, 95 percent of the time we got it out and made them regroup and come back a full 200 feet. We chewed up a lot of time."

Jonathon Blum ended Howard's attempt for his fourth shutout of the season with a blast from just inside the blue line with 2:12 left in the game.

The Predators were without Shea Weber, the team's captain and points leader. He is listed as having an upper-body injury. Trotz admitted the loss of Weber changed the attitude of the team, but also thought the Predators played well despite his absence.

"I think there was some apprehension," Trotz said. "We had a very good Detroit team coming in here and you don't know who is going to respond to match-ups.

"I thought we responded pretty well once again. We played as well as Detroit, maybe even better."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
scoring summary
1st Period
10:57
DET
Valtteri Filppula (11) Snap shot - ASST: Henrik Zetterberg (16)
1 - 0 DET
2nd Period
12:52
DET
Pavel Datsyuk (11) Wrap-around - ASST: Todd Bertuzzi (11), Johan Franzen (17)
2 - 0 DET
13:05
DET
Daniel Cleary (9) Wrist shot - ASST: Drew Miller (5)
3 - 0 DET
3rd Period
05:22
DET
Valtteri Filppula (12) Slapshot - ASST: Justin Abdelkader (6), Cory Emmerton (3)
4 - 0 DET
17:48
NSH
Jonathon Blum (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Jordin Tootoo (10)
4 - 1 DET
penalty summary
1st Period
02:38
DET
Cory Emmerton  Tripping against  Patric Hornqvist
15:58
NSH
Ryan Ellis  Interference against  Darren Helm
19:46
DET
Johan Franzen  Holding against  Colin Wilson
2nd Period
02:58
DET
Henrik Zetterberg  Hi-sticking against  Jordin Tootoo
3rd Period
09:38
DET
Jonathan Ericsson  Tripping against  Sergei Kostitsyn
12:17
DET
Pavel Datsyuk  Hooking against  Matt Halischuk
14:44
NSH
Mike Fisher  Holding against  Jiri Hudler
goalie stats
Jimmy Howard
SA: 32TOI: 60:00
Saves: 31EV: 24 - 25
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .969SH: 2 - 2
Pekka Rinne
SA: 22TOI: 60:00
Saves: 18EV: 16 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .818SH: 1 - 1