The Red Wings pulled within a point of Nashville in the Central Division, with the top two teams in the Western Conference set to meet twice next week and again in the final month of the regular season.
Extra shots were needed in the shootout after both teams scored once and were stopped twice.
Regulation wasn't enough to decide the game after Nashville's Greg Zanon made it 3-all with 8:18 left.
In a 25-second span of the second period, Mathieu Schneider put Detroit ahead 3-2 with his 200th NHL goal and help tie the game with an assist. The Red Wings held onto the lead for nearly 19 minutes.
Both teams played without key players because of injuries, taking some of the luster off the matchup.
Among the missing Red Wings were Dominik Hasek, Henrik Zetterberg, and Todd Bertuzzi while Nashville was without Peter Forsberg, Scott Hartnell and Steve Sullivan.
PHILADELPHIA - Simon Gagne scored 1:47 into overtime, leading the Flyers over New Jersey.
Scottie Upshall, Geoff Sanderson, Sami Kapanen and Mike Richards also scored as Philadelphia beat the Devils for the first time in six tries this season.
Martin Biron, making his first start at home since the Flyers got him from Buffalo at the trade deadline, had 37 saves.
BOSTON - Peter Budaj stopped 21 shots and Brett Clark broke a scoreless deadlock in the third period to lift Colorado to its fourth straight win.
Milan Hejduk scored an empty-net goal and added an assist for the Avalanche, 3-0 on a season-high, five-game road trip.
TORONTO - Andrew Raycroft made 24 saves for his second shutout of the season and Darcy Tucker and Yanic Perreault each scored their 20th goals to lift Toronto over Washington.
Alexei Ponikarovsky also scored for the Maple Leafs, who moved into an eighth-place with Carolina in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
ATLANTA - Keith Tkachuk scored his first two goals with Atlanta to help the Thrashers win their fourth straight.
Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa continued leading Atlanta's dominance of Florida. The Thrashers are 6-0 against their Southeast Division rival this season and have won 10 straight over the Panthers at home.
OTTAWA - Sidney Crosby scored his third shootout goal in four games and Pittsburgh overcame a three-goal deficit to beat Ottawa.
Crosby was held without a point for the fourth time in five games, matching the worst slump of his career.
ST. LOUIS - Wayne Primeau scored the go-ahead goal on a short-handed breakaway in the third period, capping Calgary's rally from a two-goal deficit.
Jarome Iginla assisted on the Flames' last three goals, two scored by Craig Conroy, to help the Flames win their fifth in a row with a rare road victory. Calgary has won six straight over the Blues.
The Blues had won four in a row at home, their best stretch since a five-game run from Nov. 4-25, 2003.
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Evgeni Nabokov posted his second straight shutout and Milan Michalek had a goal and an assist to lead San Jose past Minnesota.
Manny Fernandez replaced Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom to begin the third period. Fernandez had missed the previous 14 games with a sprained left knee. Backstrom is 9-3-2 as his replacement.
San Jose scored three times in a span of six minutes in the second period.
CHICAGO - Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 26 shots to earn his first shutout with the Blackhawks.
Chicago won its second straight after a 1-6-2 stretch.