Nashville, TN – Jimmy Howard stopped all 22 shots he faced to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-0 win over the Nashville Predators on Sunday.
Howard has posted three shutouts this season and has three shutouts all-time against Nashville.
Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Justin Abdelkader all tallied for the Red Wings, who moved two points ahead of the Dallas Stars for the final spot in the upcoming Western Conference Playoffs.
"This morning we were out of the playoffs, I think we're in it right now and I think Minny's right there with us and St. Louis," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "There's lots of us in that mud puddle trying to find a way to swim."
Pekka Rinne stopped 29-of-31 shots but it wasn't enough for the Predators, losers in six straight games.
"The guys we're looking at, we're going to have to make decisions on," said Nashville coach Barry Trotz, who was playing with five rookies . "They're showing what they can and cannot do. That's the positive. It's not a great answer for the fans from that standpoint, but it's reality."
Danny DeKeyser's shot was wide of the goal, but bounced off the boards right to Zetterberg in front of the net and he pounded it home 6:23 into the middle session.
Bobby Butler had a chance to get the Predators on the board with a penalty shot three seconds later, but lost control of the puck and was unable to get a shot off.
"He lost control," Howard said. "As the game goes on, the ice here isn't the best -- you know, around the league -- so it was just a tough one for him."
Franzen corralled a loose puck near the boards and skated across the ice and beat Rinne on the backhand.
Abdelkader added an empty netter with 2:19 left to account for the final margin.
Howard had 14 career shutouts ... Detroit will visit Calgary on Wednesday ... The Preds were 0-for-2 on the power play ... Nashville will host Vancouver on Monday.