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Associated Press
Nashville’s Paul Gaustad tries to redirect a shot at Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard in the first period in Detroit.

Predators expand Detroit’s slide to 7

– The Nashville Predators scored only two goals on Tuesday night.

But it was enough for a win because the slumping Detroit Red Wings couldn’t get a puck past rookie Marek Mazanec.

Mazanec made 27 saves to earn his first shutout, helping Nashville extend the Wings’ skid to seven games with a 2-0 victory.

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

Shea Weber and Gabriel Bourque scored for Nashville, which has won two straight after losing four in a row.

“We’ve got to keep an even keel,” Trotz said.

The Red Wings are saying the same thing.

Detroit’s home slide reached eight games (0-6-2), the franchise’s longest stretch without a win at Joe Louis Arena since Jan. 12-30 1991, according to STATS.

“It’s just a frustrating time for us right now,” Jimmy Howard said after making 23 saves for the Red Wings. “It just doesn’t seem like anything’s going our way out there.”

Home – or away.

The Red Wings have gone seven games without a win overall (0-5-2) for the first time since the last seven games of the 2001-02 regular season, according to STATS.

“There’s no excuses – whatsoever,” Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “Our job is to win games and we haven’t been winning. Sure, we’ve been taking points here and there, but it’s about getting two points and we have to get back to that as soon as possible.”

AVALANCHE 5, BLACKHAWKS 1: In Denver, Semyon Varlamov stopped 36 shots, Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist as Colorado snapped a three-game skid. Gabriel Landeskog and John Mitchell also scored during Colorado’s three-goal first period. P.A. Parenteau and Cody McLeod added goals in the second and third for Colorado.

MAPLE LEAFS 5, ISLANDERS 2: In Toronto, Phil Kessel scored two goals and Toronto won its second in a row.

Trevor Smith, Mason Raymond and David Clarkson also scored for the Maple Leafs. Jonathan Bernier made 35 saves for the win.

BRUINS 2, RANGERS 1: In New York, Tuukka Rask made 43 saves – including a stop on a first-period penalty shot – and Boston spoiled the return of New York forward Rick Nash.

Rask, playing on back-to-back days for the first time this season, denied Chris Kreider’s penalty shot and turned away everything else except for Derick Brassard’s power-play goal in the second.

FLYERS 5, SENATORS 2: In Philadelphia, Kimmo Timonen had a goal and two assists and Steve Mason made 32 saves for Philadelphia.

Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds and Adam Hall also scored for Philadelphia. which is 4-0-1 in its last five games after a 4-10-1 start.

BLUES 4, SABRES 1: In Buffalo, N.Y., Brenden Morrow scored twice and St. Louis continued its mastery of Buffalo.

Vladimir Tarasenko and Magnus Paajarvi also scored and Jaroslav Halak made 23 saves for the Blues, who have won 13 of 15 games against Buffalo since 1999.

CANADIENS 6, WILD 2: In Montreal, Max Pacioretty broke out of a slump with a natural hat trick in the second period and the Montreal stopped Minnesota’s four-game winning streak.