The first game-winning goal of Dante Fabbro's career came just in time.
Fabbro's floating point shot entered the net with exactly one minute to play in regulation to give the Nashville Predators a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena in their 100th regular-season meeting.
The result snaps Nashville's three-game skid and gives them a much-needed victory, thanks in part to another stellar effort from Pekka Rinne, who made 24 saves on the night for his third win of the season.
Video: Ellis, Fabbro and Rinne talk 3-2 win over Red Wings
"It feels good," Rinne said of the win. "It's been a grind the last few weeks, and when you lose games, it seems like everything becomes a little bit harder and you start maybe doubting yourself. But we stuck together, and it's a huge win. It was a gutsy effort. Specialty teams have been a bit of an issue, and tonight, we won that battle, so there were a lot of positive things."
"The win was good for our team," Fabbro said. "We've just got to clean up a few areas. I thought we made it a little too hard on Peks at points throughout the game, but he stood on his head and played unbelievable, so big credit to him as well."
Ryan Ellis gave the Preds a 1-0 lead when he one-timed a Filip Forsberg feed into the twine on a first-period power play, but Detroit evened the score before the frame was out when Robby Fabbri beat Pekka Rinne.
Video: DET@NSH: Ellis hammers one home on the power play
More than 19 minutes were played in the seconds stanza before someone found the back of the net, but Matt Duchene did the honors at 19:19 for his third of the season when he beat goaltender Thomas Greiss to finish off a 2-on-1. However, just 14 seconds later, the Red Wings tied the game again as Marc Staal sent the teams into the second intermission with a 2-2 draw, but the Preds weren't discouraged heading into the third.
Video: DET@NSH: Duchene buries a pass from Jarnkrok
"I liked our overall game tonight," Ellis said. "We can still clean up some areas - I feel like that's the same thing for every team every night - but overall, it was a huge goal from Fabbs at the end. We worked hard in the third period for that, and we eventually got rewarded. It was a great win for the team."
Video: Coach Hynes talks offense, goaltending after 3-2 win
Fabbro gave credit to Luke Kunin for the pass the blueliner received at the point, and both Filip Forsberg, who had a pair of assists, and Viktor Arvidsson helped to provide the screen that allowed the puck to find twine with 59 minutes elapsed in regulation.
Video: DET@NSH: Fabbro wrists one from the point for a goal
The Preds held on from that point, as Nashville's netminder made his 24th and final save of the evening to collect career win No. 362 in classic Rinne fashion - with a game-saving stop or two throughout the night.
And the veteran Finn is feeling better on the ice than he has in more than a year.
"I put a lot of expectations, a lot of pressure on myself, and if you're not playing well, I can be sometimes too hard on myself," Rinne said. "I really try to enjoy this and really try to enjoy every single game I play and everything about this locker room, coming into work every day and really appreciating everything. Obviously, knowing the fact that I don't know how many more years I've got, so I really just appreciate everything I have right now."
Video: DET@NSH: Rinne denies Mantha in front with the pad
The Predators welcomed Thursday's win too, and they'll try to do it again on Saturday against Detroit once more to conclude their four-game homestand.
"At times, our team overall has gotten some tough luck," Ellis said. "Sometimes, we deserve it, sometimes it's just a tough break, but Peks battled through. Peks has been great. I think his confidence is growing, I think this team's confidence is improving, and we need to continue to get better as a group and build on our chemistry, build on this win, but overall, I think Peks has been phenomenal. We expect nothing but that."
Video: Predators hold off Red Wings, earn 3-2 victory
Prior to Thursday's game, the Preds placed defenseman Mattias Ekholm (lower-body) and forward Mathieu Olivier (upper-body) on Injured Reserve. The team also recalled forward Eeli Tolvanen and defenseman Ben Harpur from the taxi squad.
With two assists on Thursday, Filip Forsberg is on a four-game point streak versus Detroit, tallying two goals and seven points over that span.
The Predators host Detroit once more on Saturday night (at 7 p.m. CT) before beginning a six-game road trip that starts with a back-to-back set against the Dallas Stars on Monday and Tuesday.