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Red Wings 3, Predators 2 @NHLdotcom

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Detroit Red Wings now have a measure of revenge to go with their slim cushion atop the Western Conference.

Mathieu Schneider scored with 6:31 left, and the Red Wings beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 Thursday night for their second victory in two nights over their Central Division rivals who took two straight from them in as many days in Detroit last month.

"After they took four points from us back home, we wanted to come back and answer, which we were able to do," Detroit center Kris Draper said.

Draper and Robert Lang each scored goals as the Red Wings, who won 6-0 in Detroit on Wednesday night, widened their divisional lead to nine points with their fifth straight victory overall. They have a two-point margin in the West over Dallas, a 5-1 winner over Phoenix on Thursday.

Detroit has dominated this series against a team in its seventh season, but Nashville is 7-9-2 at home and has been nipping at the Red Wings all season.

"The intensity of this rivalry has gotten bigger and bigger," Schneider said.

Scott Hartnell and Paul Kariya scored for Nashville, which has dropped six of eight since those two victories in Detroit last month. Yanic Perreault also had two assists.

With only one game left before the Olympic break, the Predators now must worry more about holding onto fourth in the Western Conference with idle Vancouver only three points behind. They have been outscored 27-15 and outshot 207-123 over the past five games.

"We're in the middle of a rut right now, and we're going to have to get ourselves out of it," Kariya said. "It's a very competitive conference, and we have to win some."

The Red Wings didn't embarrass Nashville as they did in handing the Predators their worst loss this season on Wednesday night. They did outshoot them again, 45-34, with Detroit native Kid Rock watching from the stands and the sold-out crowd evenly split.

"They were buzzing tonight in front of the home crowd," Detroit goaltender Manny Legace said. "It was electric tonight, which is great to see here down South. The Nashville fans love their hockey. I love the atmosphere here."

Schneider provided the winning goal with his 18th this season. Steve Yzerman passed him the puck in the high slot, and Schneider skated in, faked a shot, then put the puck over the glove of Tomas Vokoun at 13:29 of the third period.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz credited Schneider for taking advantage of a bad line change by the Predators.

"You make one mistake, and they have you on death row," Trotz said.

Nashville pulled Vokoun with 1:03 left and called a timeout, but it couldn't get the puck past Legace, who improved to 7-1-1 when giving up two goals.

Detroit tied it with two goals in 2 minutes in the second. Lang shot from the edge of the right circle, and the puck slipped through a sliver between Vokoun and the post at 11:44, and Draper scored his fourth this season at 13:40 over the goalie's shoulder.

The NHL's best team at killing penalties had not allowed a power-play goal in 40 straight man advantages dating back to 9:30 of the second period on Jan. 23 in a loss to Nashville.

Appropriately enough, Hartnell, who scored that goal, snapped the Red Wings' streak at 5:35 of the first on Nashville's first power play. He took a pass from Perreault and stuck it in from the right side of the goal for a 1-0 lead on the Predators' first shot of the game.

Kariya made it 2-0 with the puck bouncing around, and both Legace and Johan Franzen sprawled in front of the net at 14:56.

Notes: The Predators and Red Wings still have three games left but won't play again until March 21 in Detroit. ... Draper's goal was his first since Jan. 5. ... Predators center Scot Nichol played Thursday night, his first game since being taken off the ice on a stretcher in Dallas with a concussion from slamming head first into the end boards on Feb. 1. ... The Predators recalled Scottie Upshall from their AHL team and sent Jordin Tootoo back to the Milwaukee Admirals. ... Nashville defenseman Mark Eaton played in his 300th NHL game.

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