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Dan Ellis stops 38 shots, Predators hold off Red Wings 3-2 @NHLdotcom

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Defenceman Kevin Klein scored a power-play goal, Vern Fiddler added a goal late in the second period, and the Nashville Predators held off the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on Friday night in their first meeting of the season.

Defenceman Greg Zanon also scored, Martin Erat had two assists, and Dan Ellis stopped 38 shots in the Predators' best scoring night since Dec. 13.

Nashville came in offensively challenged after managing just 22 goals over the past 13 games and going 2-2-1 over the past five.

Dan Cleary and Mikael Samuelsson scored for Detroit, which came in having won eight of 10.

Nashville always plays the Red Wings tough, especially so in the teams' first meeting since Detroit needed six games to knock the Predators out of the playoffs last spring. The Predators also had only the second sellout crowd of the season.

Detroit came in ranked second in the NHL with the man advantage. The Red Wings went 0-for-3 on the power play, including the final 1:28 with Chris Osgood pulled for the extra attacker. Nashville has killed 19 consecutive penalties and 37 of 40.

Detroit nearly blew open the game in the opening minutes as Johan Franzen collected a loose puck during a changeover and nearly flipped it past Ellis.

But the Predators started getting the puck on net on their lone power play in the first period. They grabbed a 1-0 lead as Zanon scored on a slap shot off Radek Bonk's win on the faceoff just after the man advantage ended, beating Osgood past his outstretched left skate at 9:29.

Cleary tied it at 14:04 when he skated up the right halfboards and flipped the puck top shelf past Ellis.

The Nashville goalie, who had his franchise-record shutout streak ended last March by the Red Wings, had the save of the night in the middle of a power play in the second. Pavel Datsyuk, who already had an assist on Cleary's goal, had a short-handed breakaway, and Ellis knocked the puck away. He also stopped Marian Hossa a few seconds later.

The Predators then went up about a half minute later as Klein scored his third goal of the season at 13:24 of the second on a slap shot after Rich Peverley found him on the outer edge of the right circle near the slot.

Nashville went up 3-1 Fiddler's goal at 18:52. Erat had the puck behind the net and passed out to Fiddler in front, who then snapped it past Osgood for his sixth this season.

Samuelsson pulled Detroit within a goal by scoring his seventh on a slap shot near the left corner at 3:00 of the third.

Notes: This was the sixth time Nashville got two or more goals from its defencemen, but it was the first goal by a defenceman since Dec. 8. The Predators improved to 5-1 in those games. ... Nashville improved to 9-1-0 when leading after two periods. Detroit is 5-7 when trailing after two. ... The Red Wings lost defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom to a lower body injury early in the second period. He did not return. ... With an assist on Detroit's opening goal, Datsyuk has 12 points in a streak of six games. ... Jiri Hudler has 99 career points after his assist on Cleary's goal.

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