The Detroit Red Wings had a singular purpose on Friday: get even. After losing Wednesday's opener of their first-round playoff series with the Nashville Predators, the Red Wings needed a win, lest they return to Detroit down by two games. A win is exactly what Detroit got, beating the Predators by a final score of 3-2 and tying up the series at 1-1.
Getting even started with an opening bout between Todd Bertuzzi and Shea Weber. Bertuzzi found Weber in the corner and dropped the gloves less than two minutes into the game. Weber entered the night with a target on his back after an ugly incident in which he punched Henrik Zetterberg in the back of the head and then rammed his melon into the glass. In an indictment of the NHL's player discipline system, Weber received only a $2,500 fine.
Detroit took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals from Ian White and Cory Emmerton. In the second period, they added another one, as Johan Franzen answered for the Predators' first goal of the game.
The only goal in the third period came from Weber, of all players, when he backhanded the puck into the net with five minutes left to play.
The real star of the night was goalie Jimmy Howard, who helped the Red Wings kill off six Nashville power plays. Howard turned away 24 of 26 shots, including 21 over the final two periods.
On Sunday, the best-of-seven series returns to the Motor City for Game 3.
For more on the Detroit Red Wings, check out Winging It In Motown. For more on the Nashville Predators, check out On The Forecheck. For more on the NHL as the playoffs continue, check the SB Nation NHL hub.