RED WINGS 3, PREDATORS 2: Defenseman Ian White and Cory Emmerton scored first-period goals and visiting Detroit held on to even its Western Conference quarterfinal series at one game apiece.
Johan Franzen also scored and Jimmy Howard made 24 saves as the Red Wings sent the series back to Detroit for Games 3 and 4.
Andrei Kostitsyn and Shea Weber scored for the Predators, who had a 26-17 edge in shots but could not overcome the early deficit.
The Red Wings delivered an early message when Todd Bertuzzi brawled with Weber less than two minutes into the game - retaliation for the Predators captain slamming Henrik Zetterberg's head into the glass at the end of Game 1.
Detroit then hit Nashville where it really hurt when White skated in from the right point and beat Pekka Rinne with a wrister through a screen for a 1-0 lead at 8:25.
The Red Wings doubled the advantage seven minutes later on Emmerton's first career playoff goal. Emmerton blocked a shot by Kevin Klein, raced down the left wing and beat Rinne between the pads at 15:33.
The Predators woke up the home fans when Kostitsyn snapped a shot past Howard at 9:01 to cut the deficit in half, but the momentum was short-lived.
Detroit answered only 56 seconds later when Brad Stuart skated deep into Nashville's zone and threw a shot at the net that deflected off Franzen's left leg and into the net.
The Predators pulled within one goal when Weber scored on a backhander with 4:44 left in regulation, but they were unable to get the equalizer.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Weber, who was fined $2,500 for the hit on Zetterberg, received his first fighting major since Dec. 22, 2009. Fellow blue-liner Hal Gill sat out his second straight game with a lower-body injury. ... White's goal was only his second since Jan. 19. Franzen had gone six games without a point before his goal, the longest playoff drought of his career. ... Nashville, playing in its eighth postseason series, has never won the first two games. ... Detroit has killed off all 12 power-play chances by the Predators, the top-ranked team in the regular season.