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Mazanec, Predators shut out Wings

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DETROIT -- The Nashville Predators are accustomed to winning games backstopped by a big goaltender who takes up a lot of space and doesn't have to move a lot.

That usually is Pekka Rinne, who is currently on long-term injured reserve due to hip issues.

But 22-year-old rookie Marek Mazanec did a pretty good imitation of Rinne on Tuesday night

Mazanec, 6-foot-4 and 187 pounds, made 27 saves in posting his first NHL shutout and leading to a 2-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena.

"He's been great. He's not a goalie who moves a lot. He's solid in net. He's big," said Predators winger Viktor Stalberg, who had an assist.

It was Detroit's seventh straight loss and eighth consecutive loss on home ice. The last time the Red Wings went eight games without a win at home was January, 1991. The previous five losses had come in either overtime or a shootout.

"I know they're going through time with the shootout thing, and when you've lost that many in a row, it gets in your head," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said about Detroit. "They haven't really lost that many games."

Defenseman and captain Shea Weber and winger Gabriel Bourque scored for Nashville (10-9-2).

"They didn't have a lot of good opportunities today," Mazanec said. "It was a crazy game. Our defense played great."

It was only Mazanec's fifth NHL game after being recalled from the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League on Nov. 12. He was backing up Carter Hutton with Rinne out.

Mazanec just got his first career win Saturday in a 7-2 win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

"He's catching up to the level. He's confident after seeing some of the best players in the world," Trotz said. "When you start facing those guys on a regular basis, you're going to feel a little bit more confident if you have success."

Goalie Jimmy Howard stopped 23 shots for the Red Wings (9-6-7).

"Don't do too much, play simple and be patient. We did play patient. I didn't think we gave up a whole bunch," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. " ... All in all, I thought our team worked, I thought we competed but we didn't generate. In the end you've got to generate. You've got to spend more time in the offensive zone. It's not like they spent a ton of time in our zone either."

Weber gave Nashville a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal that came with only five seconds remaining in the second period. He beat Howard with a screened knuckler of a slap shot from just inside the blue line in the middle of the ice off an assist from center David Legwand, who is from the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Woods.

The goal came with Detroit left winger Drew Miller in the penalty box for hooking Predators defenseman Roman Josi.

"It's just a frustrating time for us right now. It just doesn't seem like anything's going our way out there. But you've got to go out there and work for your breaks," Howard said. "Tonight I don't think it's lack of trying or lack of effort but I think we just gotta dig in a little bit harder around the net and not squeeze our sticks."

Bourque made it 2-0 7:13 into the third period when he backhanded in the rebound of Stalberg's shot.

NOTE: Red Wings D Dan DeKeyser went to the dressing room after being taken into the boards by Predators RW Patric Hornqvist 3:14 into the first period because of a left shoulder injury. DeKeyser did not return and Detroit coach Mike Babcock said he would at least be out for the remainder of the week. ... Detroit RW Daniel Alfredsson missed his third game due to a sore groin. ... Nashville LW Eric Nystrom -- who played at the University of Michigan -- missed his second game with an upper-body injury. ... Red Wings C Stephen Weiss sat out his fifth game with a groin injury. ... Predators C Filip Forsberg missed his second contest with an upper-body injury. ... Detroit D Brendan Smith returned after missing six games with a shoulder subluxation. ... Red Wings adviser to hockey operations Chris Chelios was honored before the game for his recent induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
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