A number of pretty passing plays by the Red Wings helped bring them the win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4 to 3.
With Darren McCarty out for at least a month with a knee injury sustained in the 10/13/01 game against the New York Islanders, Mathieu Dandenault was moved from defense back to right winger, and Steve Duchesne was brought back to play defense.
The first period was relatively quiet, for a hockey game. Both teams had scoring chances. Detroit got a power play opportunity 6:42 into the game when Kevin Dineen was sent off for cross-checking, but the power play was unable to score.
Brendan Shanahan opened the scoring with 4:01 remaining in the period. Sergei Fedorov passed the puck from the blue line up to Kris Draper, who sent it back to Shanahan. Shanahan sent the puck flying past goaltender Marc Denis, continuing his six game scoring streak and reaffirming his place as the NHL's current high scorer.
The Wings scored again 6:52 into the second period. Jiri Fischer fired the puck from the blue line. Denis was able to block, but Luc Robitaille grabbed up the rebound and sent it into the net to continue his three game goal streak.
Fredrick Olausson was penalized for cross-checking with 10:53 left in the second. Only eleven seconds before the end of that penalty, Shanahan was sent off for slashing. The Blue Jackets' Rotislav Klesla was able to score during the short 5-on-3 situation, firing the puck from the blue line past a well-screened Dominik Hasek.
The Wings responded with 3:48 left in the period. Boyd Devereaux passed to Olausson, and Olausson got the puck across center ice to Dandenault. Dandenault got the puck past Denis to score his 100th career point, showing that he didn't forget how to play forward while he was back on defense.
Rookie Pavel Datsyuk nearly scored on a fast-moving breakaway early in the third period, but the Blue Jackets defense shot down his scoring opportunity and kept him from passing the puck back to Devereaux. Detroit's fourth goal was not scored until 6:13 had gone by in the third period, when Sergei Fedorov picked up a rolling pass from Kris Draper and shot it into the net from the blue line. Chris Chelios also received an assist on that goal.
Columbus came back strong through the rest of the third. Tyler Wright flipped the puck past Hasek with 8:22 left in the game. Deron Quint was able to score three minutes later while Hasek was being screened by Dineen.
The Blue Jackets pulled their goalie with one minute remaining in the game, but six skaters were not enough to get past Hasek and the Red Wings defense a fourth time. Brett Hull nearly scored an empty net goal, but his shot went wide of the net.
Hasek stopped 19 of 22 shots, while Denis blocked 31 of 35.
The win lifted the Wings' record to 4-1-0-0 and dropped the Islanders' to 4-0-0-1. Detroit is off until Tuesday, when they begin their longest homestand of the season against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Red Wings hope to continue their winning ways when they host the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
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