Thomas Vanek had a memorable milestone game as the Red Wings pushed back against an early deficit. They needed overtime to earn a much-needed spell of relief as they won for the first time in seven games, beating the Nashville Predators, 4-3 Friday at Little Caesars Arena on Dylan Larkin's goal. Andreas Athanasiou and Vanek leveled a 2-0 deficit in the second period. Anthony Bitetto put the puck in Detroit’s net soon after Vanek’s goal, but the Wings successfully challenged goaltender interference. Luke Witkowski made his presence felt by fighting Austin Watson and hitting Miikka Salomaki hard enough to leave him woozy. Tyler Bertuzzi provided the Wings’ first lead of the game at 11:51 of the third period. Gustav Nyquist went to the net and dropped a pass for Bertuzzi, who had an open net for his 10th goal of the season. Ryan Johansen made it 3-3 with 1:16 to go in regulation after the Predators had pulled Pekka Rinne for the extra attacker. The Wings outshot the Predators 38-28 in regulation. The Wings started well for a third straight game, dictating pace and cycling the puck in Nashville’s zone. At the period’s midpoint, the Wings had directed six shots on Rinne, including a wrap-around attempt by Vanek, while Jimmy Howard had yet to make a save. Vanek made it an 9-0 run with a shot from the slot. It was a very physical period — lots of hitting, battles for the puck. Jacob de la Rose hobbled off after getting hit by the puck in the second half. For all their good work, the Wings fell behind when P.K. Subban lifted a shot from the top of the right circle with 2:24 to go in the period. Craig Smith pounced on a loose puck by the net and made it 2-0 at 3:01 of the second period. The Wings recaptured momentum when Athanasiou raced to a loose puck deep in Nashville’s zone, strode to the net and backhanded the puck short-side on Rinne, the puck hitting the crossbar on its way into the net. It was Athanasiou’s third goal in three games and fourth in five. The Wings faced a penalty kill at 7:31, and were able to generate a shorthanded chance thanks to Luke Glendening's race up the right wing with the puck, with Darren Helm coming up the left flank. The game was the 1,000th of Vanek’s career. He made it all the more memorable when he contributed a goal. Vanek was coming up the right side as puck caromed off the end boards and he banked a shot in off Rinne for career goal No. 364 and career point No. 770. It was Vanek’s second goal in three games. Vanek, from Vienna, became the first Austrian to reach 1,000 games. He’s also one of only 14 Austrians to ever have played in the NHL. Michael Grabner is second with 578 games played; the remaining 12 played a combined 883. Contact Helene St. James: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames.