Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Pavel Datsyuk posted a goal and an assist during a three-goal second period that propelled the Detroit Red Wings to a much-needed 5-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.
Datsyuk added another assist in the third, while Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, Patrick Eaves and Justin Abdelkader each scored once for the Red Wings, who have three straight to move into the seventh spot in the Western Conference with 54 points.
Detroit, which hasn't missed the playoffs since 1990, can clinch a postseason berth later on Thursday if Dallas defeats Columbus in any fashion. The Stars and Blue Jackets are currently in action.
Jimmy Howard stopped 20 shots in the victory.
Mike Fisher and Craig Smith registered a goal and an assist apiece for the Predators, who have lost nine of their last 10 and will miss the playoffs for just the second time in the past nine seasons.
Chris Mason made 33 saves in defeat.