The Red Wings' Henrik Zetterberg (40) is congratulated by Valtteri Filppula (51) after scoring against Nashville in the second period on Sunday.
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NASHVILLE — Henrik Zetterberg scored in the second period, and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Nashville Predators 3-0 Sunday night for a crucial two points in their chase to extend their streak of playoff berths.
The Red Wings got their first win in four games, the last two shootout losses, and moved into sole possession of eighth in the Western Conference two points ahead of Dallas and Columbus. Johan Franzen also scored a goal, and Justin Abdelkader added an empty-netter late. Jimmy Howard made 22 saves for his third shutout this season.
Pekka Rinne made 29 saves for Nashville, which lost its sixth straight.
The Red Wings hadn't won since April 5. They began the day tied with Dallas and Columbus with 45 points, with the pressure mounting to uphold a tradition featuring 21 consecutive playoff appearances. Howard, who had his 14th career shutout, certainly helped as he stopped 13 shots in the first period before Detroit started firing pucks at Rinne over the final 40 minutes.
Rookie Danny DeKeyser, who chose Detroit over teams including Nashville, took a shot that hit off the back boards and around to Zetterberg for the easy tap-in goal at 6:23 for a 1-0 lead. That was Zetterberg's first goal in 11 games.
Nashville had a chance to tie in the third when Bobby Butler got a penalty shot attempt after being hooked by Jakub Kindl on a breakaway attempt at 6:24. Butler lost the puck before attempting a shot in front of Howard.
Franzen scored on a backhander over Rinne's glove at 17:01 in the third to seal the victory. Nashville took its timeout with 1:57 left and pulled Rinne. Abdelkader had an easy goal at 18:41.
NOTES: DeKeyser got his first NHL point in his fifth career game. ... Franzen's goal was his 300th career point.
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