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Red Wings skate past Predators, 5-2

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DETROIT (AP) - Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and two assists and the Detroit Red Wings moved a step closer to their 22nd straight playoff appearance with a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

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The Red Wings, who moved into seventh place in the Western Conference, need one more point to secure their spot in the postseason. They own the longest current playoff streak in North American professional sports.

Detroit has one regular-season game remaining.

Johan Franzen had a goal and an assist, and Valtteri Filppula, Patrick Eaves and Justin Abdelkader also scored for Detroit. Jimmy Howard stopped 20 shots.

Mike Fisher and Craig Smith each had a goal and an assist for Nashville, which got 33 saves from Chris Mason.

The Red Wings scored three times in the second period to take a 4-2 lead.

Franzen netted his seventh in seven games just 1:01 into the period, seconds after a Detroit power play ended. He put in a rebound for his 14th goal to tie it at 2.

Eaves gave the Red Wings a 3-2 advantage 2:40 later when he scored on a one-timer from the left circle off a backhanded pass from Jordan Tootoo, who was just inside the blue line. It was Eaves' second goal.

Datsyuk made it a two-goal cushion with 47 seconds remaining in the period with a power-play goal. He beat Mason with a wrist shot from the high slot on the rush for his 15th goal.

Abdelkader scored late in the third.

Smith gave Nashville a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal with 7:30 left in the first period. He scored from a goal-mouth scramble for his fourth of the season.

Fisher opened the scoring on the game's first shot, 1:46 in. He completed a 2-on-1 rush with a one-timed shot from the bottom of the right circle off a pass from Smith. Fisher's 10th goal was the result of a turnover by defenseman Jakub Kindl at the Predators' blue line.

Filppulka's ninth goal tied it 1-1 at 6:53 of the first. He put in a one-timer from the inside edge of the left circle.

NOTES: Detroit forward Johan Franzen, who missed the last few minutes of Wednesday night's 3-1 win over Los Angeles because of an undisclosed injury, was back in the lineup. . Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi has been cleared to play after missing 11 weeks because of a pinched nerve in his back. He has played in only seven games this season. . Nashville recalled forward Joonas Rask from Milwaukee of the AHL and assigned forwards Filip Forsberg and Austin Watson to Milwaukee. . Nashville forward Matt Halischuk left the game in the second period with an upper body injury and didn't return.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
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