The Nashville Predators look to continue their playoff push when they host the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.
The Predators (33-24-7, 73 points) are five points behind Colorado (36-22-6, 78 points) for the final Western Conference wild-card spot entering the Avalanche’s game against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday. The Red Wings (30-27-9, 69 points) are seven points behind the New York Islanders for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.
Nashville is coming off a 5-4 overtime win over the host Anaheim Ducks on Sunday to end a six-game road trip 4-1-1. The Red Wings knocked off the visiting Boston Bruins 5-3 on Sunday for their second win in the past three games after going winless in their previous six (0-5-1).
The Predators squandered a 4-2 lead in the final 6:24 that sent the game into overtime, where Tommy Novak’s second goal of the night at 1:12 of the extra session won it for Nashville.
Novak has 12 goals in 15 assists in the past 33 games since being recalled from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League on Dec. 19.
“It’s tough games, going back to back with the time change and being on a 13-day road trip,” Novak, whose team beat the Los Angeles Kings in a shootout the previous night, said. “We worked hard and showed resilience and got a lot of points on the road trip, so that was pretty successful.”
Philip Tomasino, Kiefer Sherwood and Yakov Trenin also scored for the Predators, while Roman Josi and Colton Sissons each added two assists and Novak had one. Juuse Saros (25-18-6, 2.78 GAA) made 33 saves for the Predators.
Josi has 17 goals and a team-high 41 assists for a team-leading 58 points. Matt Duchene is tied for the team lead with 19 goals along with Filip Forsberg, who hasn’t played since sustaining an upper-body injury against the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 11.
Meanwhile, the Red Wings are coming off their biggest win of the season.
A day after blowing a 2-0 lead in a 3-2 loss to the host Boston Bruins, the Red Wings pulled out a 5-3 win over the league’s best team in Detroit.
“I’m really proud of how we never backed down against a team that could be remembered as one of the best in League history,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “We were competitive for six periods, and I’m glad we got rewarded with a win today.”
After Alex Chiasson gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, Moritz Seider, Dylan Larkin and Adam Erne all scored in the second period to extend the lead to 4-0.
The Bruins pulled to within 4-3 at the 6:24 mark of the third period, but Andrew Copp scored an empty-net goal off assists from Pius Suter and Larkin with 24 seconds left to secure the win.
Larkin and Lucas Raymond each had two assists, while Ville Husso (25-16-6, 2.93 GAA) had 30 saves for Detroit.
“This was a huge test and a huge opportunity for us,” Larkin said. “We had back-to-back games against a team that’s on a record pace, and we played two great games.”
Larkin leads the Red Wings in goals (25), assists (39) and points (64), while David Perron is second on the team with 41 points (16 goals, 25 assists), two points ahead of Dominik Kubalik, who has 18 goals and 21 assists.
–Field Level Media