Filppula opened the scoring midway through the first period when Henrik Zetterberg found him open in the slot and the Finnish center one-timed a blast past Nashville's Pekka Rinne. His second goal came in the third period and gave the Wings a 4-0 lead, while Pavel Datsyuk and Danny Cleary scored in between for Detroit.
Howard improved to 21-8-1. His shutout was ruined when Jonathon Blum scored 2:12 left in the game.
Rinne ended with 18 saves for the Predators.