By Christy Hammond
The Detroit Red Wings failed to grab its 50th win of the season Sunday evening at Joe Louis Arena in a 4-3 loss to the Nashville Predators. Detroit held a 2-1 lead for nearly 16 minutes of play before falling to the Preds in the third period. Detroit has now lost two straight, including three of its last four games. Despite the loss, the Wings did clinch its eighth straight Central Division title thanks to a 4-0 Chicago loss to Vancouver.
Nashville’s Steve Sullivan opened the game with a power-play tally 2:25 into the first frame. Henrik Zetterberg would respond with a shorthanded marker at 4:29. The goal gave him his 400th career point and 30th goal of the season, meaning the Wings now have four players this year to post 30 goals. Hank scored on a breakaway after getting a great feed from captain Nicklas Lidstrom.
Mikael Samuelsson would give Detroit the lead at 15:13 in the middle frame with a power-play goal. Sammy scored his 19th goal of the season on a one-timer from the left faceoff circle during the 5-on-3 power play. Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk earned the assists.
In 20 quick seconds during the third stanza, Nashville scored two goals to grab the lead. Both tallies resulted from Detroit miscues or turnovers — one in the neutral zone and the other in their own zone.
Johan Franzen would score nearly four minutes later to tie the game up at three goals apiece. Datsyuk notched his second assist of the night when he set up the Mule. Franzen wristed a blast from the high slot, beating goaltender Pekka Rinne.
However, Nashville’s Ryan Suter was determined to keep the Preds in the playoff hunt with a goal at 15:24 on the power play. Both of Nashville’s power-play tallies came from Chris Chelios‘ penalties.