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Wings gain ground on Preds with SO win

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings
By The Associated Press

Mathieu Schneider accepts congratulations after his second-period goal on Tuesday. He also had an assist in the Wings shootout win against Nashville.

DETROIT -- Johan Franzen scored on Detroit's fourth shot of a shootout, then Chris Osgood made a save to lift the Red Wings to a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

The Wings pulled within a point of Nashville in the Central Division, with the top two teams in the Western Conference set to meet twice next week and again in the final month of the regular season.

Extra shots were needed in the shootout after both teams scored once and were stopped twice.

Regulation wasn't enough to decide the game after Nashville's Greg Zanon made it 3-3 with 8:18 left.

In a 25-second span of the second period, Mathieu Schneider put Detroit ahead 3-2 with his 200th NHL goal and help tie the game with an assist. The Wings held the lead for nearly 19 minutes.

Both teams played without key players because of injuries, taking some of the luster off the matchup.

Among the missing Wings were Dominik Hasek, Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi, while Nashville was without Peter Forsberg, Scott Hartnell and Steve Sullivan. Forsberg also missed the previous game with an upper-body injury, and is day-to-day.

After Pavel Datsyuk put Detroit ahead 1-0, Martin Erat tied it late in the first period and Jason Arnott gave the Predators a 2-1 lead early in the second. Robert Lang tied the game at 12:30 of the second, off a rebound of Schneider's shot.

Osgood stopped 24 shots in regulation and overtime and Tomas Vokoun made 32 saves for the Predators, 5-0-3 in their last eight games.

The Wings lead Nashville 3-2 in the season series.

Detroit is 6-0-3 in its last nine games and hasn't lost at home in regulation in 17 games, dating to Dec. 12 against Ottawa.

With the sold-out crowd on its feet, Datsyuk opened the shootout with a goal. Paul Kariya scored on Nashville's second shot.

The Wings improved to an NHL-best 24-3-5 at home and a league-high 29-4-1 when they score first.

Datsyuk's latest highlight-worthy goal came 4:23 in when he blew past defender Marek Zidlicky and flipped a shot past Vokoun.

GAME NOTES: Wings coach Mike Babcock won his 100th game with the team in 149 games, the second fastest to reach the milestone. Tom Johnson had 100 victories in 138 games with the Boston Bruins. ... Nashville closed its road trip 3-0-2. ... Datsyuk has a five-game point streak, posting eight assists in the previous four games. ... Lang has two goals in three games after going scoreless in nine.
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