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DETROIT 3, NASHVILLE 1

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom
continues to rack up the points and the Detroit Red Wings
continue to notch victories.

Lidstrom posted his 10th multi-point effort in 17 games with a
pair of goals and the Red Wings recorded their seventh win in
eight contests with a 3-1 triumph over the struggling Nashville
Predators.

With just four points separating the top two teams in the
Central Division, the Predators took an early lead in the first
matchup between the clubs since November 21, when Detroit
defenseman Jiri Fischer suffered a seizure on the Red Wings'
bench, forcing the game to be postponed.

Vernon Fiddler, who registered his first multi-goal game in
Wednesday's 4-3 victory over St. Louis, tallied on the power
play with just over six minutes to go in the first period for a
1-0 edge.

It would be the only goal Manny Legace would allow, however, as
the goaltender turned aside 19 shots over the final two periods
and 29 overall for his second straight win since returning from
a knee injury.

"They came out and tried to run us around in the first period,"
Legace said. "I feel fine, the knee feels fine. We are going
to have a busy rest of the month."

Lidstrom netted a man-advantage goal late in the second period
to forge a tie before Jason Williams scored two minutes into the
third to put the Red Wings ahead for good. A three-time Norris
Trophy winner, Lidstrom added insurance with just under seven
minutes to go, blasting a shot from above the right faceoff
circle past netminder Tomas Vokoun for his second power-play
goal of the game and ninth tally of the season.

"The first one, I just tried to get it by the first guy trying
to block the shot, and I was kind of lucky it went off of the
post and in," Lidstrom said. "On the second one, Stevie
(Yzerman) made a great pass to get it through their forwards, I
took the shot and it went in five-hole."

"We did the thing we said we did not want to do, and that was to
put Detroit on the power play," Nashville coach Barry Trotz
said.

The tally completed Lidstrom's second two-goal performance in
four games. Yzerman picked up an assist on the play, tying him
with Hall of Famer Gordie Howe for seventh place on the all-time
list with 1,049.

"I've played for a lot of years, with a lot of good players and
on good teams," Yzerman said. "I wasn't even aware of the
statistic until today."

"It's fun to be part of a great accomplishment for him,"
Lidstrom added.

Robert Lang picked up a pair of assists for Detroit, which
handed Nashville its first regulation loss against a Central
Division rival in 12 games this season.

"It's good points for us," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
"It's a win on the road, and we played last night. Any way you
look at it, it is a good road win."

Vokoun made 33 saves for the Predators, who have lost five of
their last six.

"They are in our division, and you want to beat opponents in
your division," Vokoun said. "When you score one goal, it is
tough to win. We scored a goal and we couldn't get the second
one."

"I thought that our work ethic was great, but the penalties
killed us," Fiddler added. "They found a way to win and we
didn't, and that's the ultimate goal."

Fiddler opened the scoring at 13:55 of the first. Defenseman
Kimmo Timonen unleashed a slap shot from the blue line that
failed to get through, but Fiddler banged in the loose puck from
the doorstep for his eighth of the season.

Lidstrom knotted the game with 2:44 to go in the second,
slapping a shot from the blue line that got by Vokoun. Williams
snapped the tie early in the third, when he took a feed from
Mikael Samuelsson and beat Vokounn for his 11th tally.

"I tried to go to the net as quickly as possible, made a move
and put it upstairs," Williams said.