Red Wings Rout Blue Jackets to Clinch Playoff Spot

The Detroit Red Wings clinched a playoff spot for the 21st consecutive season on Monday night with a 7-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The streak is the longest active in professional sports. The NHL's all-time record is 29 consecutive seasons, set by the Boston Bruins.

Four goals in the first ten minutes of the game propelled the Red Wings to the win, including two power play tallies by Tomas Holmstrom.

Holmstrom opened the game's scoring just 1:06 in with Columbus' Cam Atkinson off for tripping. Niklas Kronwall sent a pass from the blue line to Henrik Zetterberg at the side of the Blue Jackets' net. Goaltender Steve Mason overcommited towards him and he sent a pass across the crease to Holmstrom to bang home.

Gustav Nyquist made it 2-0 at 5:35 with his first career NHL goal. In the slot, Pavel Datsyuk spun to send a pass to Nyquist all alone at the edge of the crease, where he roofed a shot past the diving Mason.

Holmstrom's second came at 8:55, when Kronwall sent a hard pass from the point to Zetterberg in the slot, who turned and sent it backwards through his legs to Holmstrom for a shot past Mason from the left faceoff circle - another power play goal.

Jiri Hudler rounded out the period's scoring 56 seconds later. After Mason stopped his initial shot, Hudler wrapped around the goal while Valtteri Filppula gathered in the rebound. Filppula sent a pass to Hudler to knock home from the side of the net to make it 4-0.

Nicklas Lidstrom made it 5-0 at 6:17 of the second period, sliding a shot from the right faceoff dot under Mason's pad after almost whiffing on the chance.

Brad Stuart ended Mason's night 2:17 later, jumping into the play to take a feed from Todd Bertuzzi and beat Mason from the inside edge of the right circle.

Datsyuk capped off Detroit's scoring at 1:25 of the third period. Zetterberg spun in the right circle before sending a pass across to the left side for Datsyuk to knock past backup goalie Allen York.

The Blue Jackets would finally get on the board just 19 seconds later, with Mark Letestu splitting the Detroit defense to break in alone on Ty Conklin and snap a shot past him.

Rick Nash made it 7-2 with 9:28 remaining, blasting a shot from the top of the right circle off the post and in behind Conklin.

Conklin finished the night with 24 saves on 26 shots against, half of those chances coming in the third period. Mason made 22 saves on 28 shots in 28:34 while York stopped 10 of 11 in 31:26 of play.

Holmstrom's goals were the only power play tallies on the night, though Lidstrom's goal came on a delayed call. The Red Wings finished the night 2-for-6 on the power play while the Blue Jackets went 0-for-4.

The two teams will meet again on Wednesday in Columbus for the second game of the home-and-home series.

Notes: Detroit was without goaltenders Jimmy Howard and Joey MacDonald, defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, and forwards Johan Franzen, Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves.

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User Comments

I'm having an awful day so I'm posting the game thread early and not including any notes. Might be around during the game itself, though. 7:30 - FSD.

In the meantime, watch brawl videos. That's always fun.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 3/26/2012 at 4:55 PM


No goals yet? What is this?

Posted by YzerFan19 on 3/26/2012 at 7:40 PM


That's how the power play is supposed to work.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 3/26/2012 at 7:41 PM


Not a bad first goal for Nyquist. Hell of a pass from Datsyuk.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 3/26/2012 at 7:49 PM


Jesus... Another fantastic blind pass and some finish.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 3/26/2012 at 7:56 PM


My god. Where's this offense been?

Posted by YzerFan19 on 3/26/2012 at 7:57 PM


It's really sad he's getting pulled, 'cause it's not his fault no one's covering anyone.

Posted by catmandu on 3/26/2012 at 7:58 PM


Agreed, yet I feel sorry for them as they have been the whipping boy all season. I'll take it though, in light of our recent shortcomings, I'll take it.

Posted by SYfanSD on 3/26/2012 at 8:04 PM


My god. Where's this offense been?

In layup...

Posted by SYfanSD on 3/26/2012 at 8:05 PM


I love the post...

Posted by SYfanSD on 3/26/2012 at 8:12 PM


It would appear that Lidstrom even makes perfect mistakes.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 3/26/2012 at 8:43 PM


Toying with 'em.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 3/26/2012 at 8:47 PM


If this was the Pens or the Preds I would be excited. This type of game is expected against a team like Colombus.

Posted by SYfanSD on 3/26/2012 at 8:55 PM


Expected but not happening, so it's good to see the Wings rolling when they should.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 3/26/2012 at 9:13 PM


Hope they're not using it all up tonight.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 3/26/2012 at 9:31 PM



Posted by SYfanSD on 3/26/2012 at 9:58 PM


Great effort by the Red Wings. Saw Columbus play three weeks ago. They have absolutely nothing going for them. Their veterans don't even want to be there anymore.

Posted by jwmann2 on 3/28/2012 at 2:02 AM

Tomas Holmstrom

Tomas Holmstrom
Credit: Clark Rasmussen

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