Smith has goal and assist, Red Wings top Predators 3-2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Brendan Smith and the Detroit Red Wings are beginning to get some good bounces.
Smith had a goal and an assist to lead Detroit past the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Saturday night.
Riley Sheahan also scored and Luke Glendening had the go-ahead goal in the third period for the Red Wings, who moved into a tie with Montreal atop the Atlantic Division. Petr Mrazek made 24 saves and denied Paul Gaustad's deflection from the low slot with 21 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
''They kept it in the zone for like 1:10,'' Mrazek said. ''I didn't see the pucks coming there a couple of times. They just bounced and hit my pads.''
Filip Forsberg scored twice and Mike Ribeiro had a pair of assists for the Predators, who won their previous two games.
Smith scored the first goal at 5:34 of the opening period with a slap shot from the right faceoff dot through traffic that beat Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne on the stick side.
''It's hard to score in this league and sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't,'' Smith said. ''Even before when I wasn't getting them, I thought I was making good plays but they weren't going in.''
Pavel Datsyuk had an assist on Smith's goal. He has 74 points in 67 career games against the Predators, the most of any Nashville opponent.
Nashville tied the game 45 seconds later on Forsberg's eighth of the season.
Forsberg carried the puck into the Detroit zone on the left side on a 3-on-2. At the left dot, he snapped off a wrist shot that beat Mrazek to the far side.
Forsberg has a four-game point streak.
''I have been playing up and down, but lately I have been feeling good,'' Forsberg said. ''It's always good to score goals. That's what I'm here for, but it doesn't really matter when we lose a game like this.''
Sheahan made it 2-1 at 2:55 of the second.
With the Red Wings on a power play, Rinne stopped Brad Richards' slap shot from the right side, but the rebound came to Sheahan at the left of the Nashville net, where he corralled the puck and scored his fifth of the season.
''I think our net front has been really, really good,'' Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. ''If you look back at lots of the goals and even some of the near misses, we've had great net front. It's a big part of hockey today and certainly a big part of what we want to do.''
Forsberg scored his second of the night at 17:11 of the second.
Ribeiro won a faceoff against Sheahan inside the Detroit zone. The puck came to Craig Smith, whose wrist shot deflected off Forsberg and by Mrazek.
Glendening gave Detroit a 3-2 lead at 6:45 of the third.
In the low slot, Glendening tipped Brendan Smith's slap shot from the center of the blue line by Rinne for his second of the season.
Brendan Smith has four points over his last four games.
Rinne finished with 20 saves.
After scoring three power-play goals in the previous game between the teams on Dec. 5, Nashville was 0 for 3 with the man advantage Saturday.
''They were aggressive in the zone,'' Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. ''They were in the shooting lanes quite a bit. We did have some looks, made zone time, we just couldn't seem to find the puck on the net.''
NOTES: Red Wings rookie center Dylan Larkin missed his first game of the season due to an upper-body injury. Tomas Nosek took his place in the lineup and made his NHL debut. ... Sheahan has points in three consecutive games. ... Nashville is 3-9-3 when its opponent scores first.