Datsyuk, Wings salvage a point against Nashville

It took the Nashville Predators a full 16 seconds to take the extra point in overtime, walking away from the last game of the year in Joe Louis Arena with a 4-3 win.

Brian Rafalski started the scoring for Detroit with a play full of patience as he fired a puck past a sliding Pekka Rinne. The play started by Pavel Datsyuk making a pass from along the boards while on his rear to Johan Franzen behind the goalline. Franzen got it to Tomas Holmstrom who found Rafalski, to Rinne's far right. Rafalski double pumped before putting the puck through Rinne's five-hole for a power-play goal and a 1-0 lead. 

The second period was full of scoring as both teams combined for four goals--3 to Nashville and 1 to Detroit. A Nashville power play didn't result in a goal but did result in sustained pressure in the Detroit defensive zone. The inability to clear the zone allowed Shea Weber to put a shot on net. The shot hit Holmstrom and went through for a tie game. Martin Erat put the Predators ahead with a great individual effort by taking the puck behind the net and then back out to the slot before shooting the puck. The puck bounced off of Henrik Zetterberg's foot and past Jimmy Howard for a 2-1 lead. Nicklas Lidstrom tied the game up with a great shot from above the face-off circle that beat Pekka Rinne to the glove side. The lead didn't last long as J.P. Dumont scored with under a minute to play in the second period.

The third period was interesting to watch as the first half of the period, the Wings played very tentatively and uninspired. They fired it up at the end of the third and it worked to their advantage. With Jimmy Howard on the bench and under a minute to play, Pavel Datsyuk tied it up. Johan Franzen dumped the puck in and outworked a Predator to pick it up behind the net. Franzen got the puck to Holmstrom who found a wide open Datsyuk. Datsyuk hammered a slap shot home far side for a tied game with under 40 seconds to play. 

Ryan Suter didn't waste any time in the overtime period to win the game for Nashville. Joel Ward found Suter and potted it with only 16 seconds elapsed in the supplemental period. Nashville picked up the extra point but with only two games left, Detroit is just one point behind Nashville with four games remaining. Nashville did lock up it's playoff spot though with the win, but the position won't be decided until the last game of the season it seems.

Player of the game: Tomas Holmstrom. Homer had 3 assists and finished a +1. He got under Shea Weber's skin and worked well in front of the net all game long. 

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