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Datsyuk scores pair as Wings hand Predators first road loss

By Steve Keating

DETROIT (Reuters) - Pavel Datsyuk scored twice and assisted on another goal as the Detroit Red Wings thrashed Nashville 5-2 Saturday, handing the Predators their first road loss of the season.

Backup Chris Osgood was solid in the Detroit net, handling 25 shots to record his 398th career win to leave him just two shy of becoming just the 10th netminder to post 400 victories.

"It's taken forever to get to 400 so I just try to play the games and not focus on that," Osborne told reporters. "It's been hard to do, to be honest. You do think about it.

"It's obviously taken longer than I would have liked but I just have to keep working and it will happen one day."

With number one netminder Jimmy Howard sidelined with back spasms, Osgood is sure to see more work as the Red Wings head out on a three-game road trip through western Canada with stops in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

Nashville will also be spending plenty of time on the road over the next three weeks with just one of the their next nine games at home.

After winning their first three away contests, the Predators kicked off their current five-game road swing with a lopsided loss to their Central Division rivals.

Datsyuk opened the scoring by hammering a rebound into a gaping Nashville net while Brad Stuart collected his first goal of the season when he stabbed home a puck laying on the goal line to give the Wings a 2-0 lead.

The teams traded goals in the second, Predators Joel Ward snapping a shot from the slot between Osgood's pads before Datsyuk notched his second of the night to restore the Wings' two-goal cushion.

Tomas Holmstrom added to the Detroit lead with a power-play tally to open the third before Patrick Eaves put the Wings in charge 5-1.

Kevin Klein answered for Nashville to close out the scoring.

"I thought Pav (Datsyuk) was real good today, he was just entertaining the crowd," said Wings coach Mike Babcock. "He's real strong. He just knows how to play with and without the puck.

"He is so strong, I can play him in all situations."

While Osgood is close to going into the record books, Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne will watch his jersey go where no Predators uniform has gone before - into space.

Each member of the space shuttle Discovery will be allowed to take one personal item into orbit and Finnish American astronaut Tim Kopra, who is a Predators fan, decided on taking Rinne's jersey.

(Editing by Steve Ginsburg)

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