See what I did there? Yeah, I made a Jimmy Eat World reference.
Jimmy Howard proved without a doubt last night that he is the Red Wings goalie moving forward. Howard stopped 46 of 48 shots (95.8%) and was brilliant all night long. The Red Wings win was their first regulation win since beating Carolina 3-1 on January 14 and sent Nashville to their 5th straight loss. Detroit moves up to 8th place in the West at 61 points.
Jason Williams sure didn't take his time when try to reacquaint himself to the Red Wings line-up following a fractured fibula. Williams scored on the powerplay at 18:27 on a pass from Valtteri Filppula through the crease that hit Drew Miller's stick and then found Williams' stick on the ice, easy to put past Dan Ellis. The lead was short lived as Francis Bouillon tallied a tying goal less than a minute later to send the two teams into the locker room tied at 1.
Nick Lidstrom continued his recent success by burying a one-time shot in the slot on a pass from Pavel Datsyuk off the post and in. Lidstrom's goal was his third in three games and put the Wings up 2-1 early in the 2nd period. Drew Miller knocked down a Brad Stuart shot right in front of Dan Ellis shortly after the power play ended and as the puck slid past Ellis' left pad, Miller put it in the back of the net. Miller was checked to the ice shortly after but that didn't stall him from getting up quickly to celebrate his 7th of the year. Miller has been a pleasant surprise after the Wings picked him up off waivers from Tampa Bay and pretty much solidified his spot on the roster heading forward.
The Predators scored off the face-off on a particularly weird play. Shea Weber's shot somehow found a path through a mass of bodies, deflecting off one and over Howard before hitting the crossbar and going straight down. It looked like the puck didn't cross the line but a Predator buried the puck anyway. Nashville missed an opportunity to capitalize just minutes later as Cal O'Reilly had a wide open shot and rang it off the crossbar after a great feed from J.P. Dumont. Surely, flashbacks of two goal leads lost in the third period flashed through the minds of Detroit players and fans alike.
Detroit got an insurance goal later in the third period when Henrik Zetterberg chased a puck down in the offensive zone and fired off a shot from almost behind the goal-line that beat Ellis near side and bounced off for a goal. Zetterberg's goal put the Wings up 2 halfway through the third period. Detroit killed off a late penalty and what was essentially a 6 on 4 power play with Ellis pulled as Howard stood tall in net during the barrage of Nashville shots.
Up next: Detroit heads to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins for the NBC Game of the Week and Winging It In Motown's Haiti Relief Game Thread.
Player of the game: Jimmy Howard, no questions asked. Honorable mentions to Williams and Lidstrom but with out Jimmy's performance, the game wouldn't have been close at all.
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