Johan Franzen spoke of how he relishes this time of year, when the playoffs are right around the corner and there’s an element of desperation as the regular season winds down.

Franzen and the Red Wings made good on their talk of controlling their destiny, winning for the third straight time this week as they picked apart the Predators, 5-2 at Joe Louis Arena tonight, Detroit’s third victory in four nights.

“We stuck with it, we got good goaltending, we got real good specialty teams, and some of our key guys made big plays,” coach Mike Babcock said. “Good effort. We’re doing what we can. We’ve still got to find a way to get into the playoffs.”

The Wings reached 54 points and jumped Minnesota and moved into seventh place in the Western Conference, but didn’t clinch a spot because Columbus beat Dallas. The Wings finish the season Saturday at Dallas, the same night the Blue Jackets, who have 53 points, play Nashville.

Franzen set up Valtteri Filppula’s 100th career goal and then added a goal of his own, giving Franzen seven goals his past seven games. The fourth line, led by Patrick Eaves and Jordin Tootoo, combined for another goal, and Pavel Datsyuk scored in typical fashion as the Wings rallied twice.

Captain Henrik Zetterberg collected another pair of assists, including setting up Justin Abdelkader’s goal with four minutes to go in regulation. Zetterberg has seven assists just this week.

“It’s not like a few guys just got hot out of nowhere,” Franzen said. “It’s because we’re playing this way. It’s keeping it straight and simple and throwing pucks to the net and going for rebounds. It’s desperation.”

Jimmy Howard delivered a tremendous, cross-crease diving save on Bobby Butler, one of 20 total.

After coming home last Sunday from a jaunt to Western Canada that began with a loss at Calgary and ended with a shootout loss at Vancouver, the Wings have tapped into their offensive potential, riding hot streaks from their stars and their support guys.

“It’s kind of nice, isn’t it?” Babcock said. “I don’t know if we just wore ourselves out not scoring in Vancouver. I thought we played our best game in Vancouver maybe that we’ve played all year and the puck wouldn’t go in. The puck’s gone in for us a little bit better. Good for our guys, because confidence is a fleeting thing when you’re a scorer.”