Posted: Friday January 07, 2000 01:44 AM
DETROIT (Ticker) -- Brendan Shanahan scored twice and linemate Steve Yzerman added a goal and three assists as the Detroit Red Wings ended a three-game winless streak with a 5-2 victory over the Nashville Predators.
The line of Shanahan, Yzerman and Pat Verbeek combined for eight points for Detroit, which defeated the Predators at home for the fifth time in as many meetings.
"We got good production out of that one line," Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman said. "They find each other with the puck in the offensive zone."
Ken Wregget came within 5 1/2 minutes of his first shutout in more than a year but made 21 saves to stretch his personal unbeaten streak to five games (4-0-1) for the Red Wings.
"We talked about playing better defense. We knew the offense would eventually break out," Shanahan said. "It is a shame Kenny didn't get the shutout. He deserved it, but when you get a lead like that the referee tends to call penalties and it put Kenny in a bad spot."
Detroit-area native David Legwand had a power-play goal and an assist for the Predators, who were riding a team-record eight-game unbeaten streak before running into the last three Stanley Cup champions. The streak ended Wednesday with a 3-1 loss at Dallas.
"They are the best team in hockey and they don't go four games without a win too often," said Predators center Greg Johnson. "They took the play to us for the most part. We were a little tired but we got some rest. It wouldn't be fair to use that as an excuse."
Sparked by the Shanahan-Yzerman-Verbeek unit, Detroit stormed to a 5-0 lead. Verbeek got the only goal of the first period, getting a centering pass from Yzerman and sliding the puck under goaltender Mike Dunham, who missed five games while battling the flu.
"We just didn't cover. They had guys open. You can't give them opportunites around the net," Dunham said. "I thought we were very tired. We looked tired. They took the play to us the whole game. You have to limit their chances and tonight we got caught flatfooted."
Yzerman made it 2-0 with his 17th goal, deflecting Larry Murphy's point shot past Dunham at 5:41 of the second period. The assist was the 900th of Murphy's career.
Shanahan got the next two goals, scoring on the power play at 11:31 of the second and beating Dunham from the left faceoff circle 2:33 into the third. Tomas Holmstrom's power-play tally opened a five-goal cushion with 7:51 remaining.
Legwand converted during a two-man advantage to spoil Wregget's shutout and set up Patric Kjellberg's 11th goal with four minutes to play.
"The only positive was the play of Mike Dunham. He played great," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "The final score flatters us. It was unfair that they scored five goals the way he played. We threw him to the wolves."
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