DETROIT - The Nashville Predators finally played like a desperate team.
Rich Peverley's second-period goal broke a tie and lifted the Predators to a 3-1 win over the Red Wings yesterday, snapping Detroit's five-game winning streak.
Dan Hamhuis and Jerred Smithson also scored for Nashville, fighting for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Dan Ellis made 34 saves for the Predators, who broke a three-game losing streak.
"We really put the pedal down," Ellis said "Now we realize the way we have to play."
It was Nashville's first win in Detroit in almost two years. Its last victory at Joe Louis Arena was March 21, 2006.
"There couldn't have been a better time to get the win here," Hamhuis said.
Niklas Kronwall scored the lone goal for NHL-leading Detroit. Chris Osgood stopped 24 shots.
"I thought they played hard, and we didn't compete as well as we always do," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Give their goalie credit, he made some good saves."
Peverley capitalized on a Red Wings miscue 6:10 into the second period. Osgood and Kronwall had a mix-up behind the net when Osgood left the puck for the defenseman. But Peverley was closer to the puck than Kronwall and he pounced on it and put it in from the side of the net for his third goal.
"I have to look at the video on the plane to see what happened," Kronwall said. "I thought I had the puck on my blade, but it might have bounced over it. It may have been too far. It happened too fast."
Detroit had a golden opportunity to tie the game when Predators defenseman Greg Zanon got a four-minute penalty for high-sticking with 8:03 left in the third period for clipping Jiri Hudler in the face. Nashville killed off the advantage.
"When we got through that, I knew we were going to win the game, one way or another," Predators coach Barry Trotz said.
Smithson added an empty-net goal with 17 seconds left.
Hamhuis opened the scoring with 9:33 remaining in the first period when he cut in off the right wing and put a shot past Osgood as he cut across the crease for his fourth goal.
Kronwall tied it with 2:17 left in the period. He converted a cross-crease pass from Johan Franzen for his sixth goal.