For once, a Red Wings game against the Columbus Blue Jackets was not decided by only one goal. The teams were feisty again, and the goaltending was excellent again, but this one ended as a 4-2 Wings victory.
Tomas Holmstrom opened the scoring in the early going, just 2:50 into the first period. Boyd Devereaux took a shot off of Patrick Boileau’s pass. It rebounded off the blocker of Marc Denis, and Holmstrom was able to tap it past Denis while falling.
Mike Sillinger scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game 8:49 into the period. He broke free on a two-on-one rush. Henrik Zetterberg was able to get in between and take away the possibility of a passing play, but Sillinger pulled Curtis Joseph to the left just enough to give himself space on the right side to put the puck in the net.
Holmstrom took advantage of a bad clearing attempt by the Blue Jackets to regain the lead for Detroit just a few minutes later. The Columbus defenseman poke checked the puck away from Nicklas Lidstrom, but it didn’t pass the blue line. Holmstrom was the last Detroit player back, and he was able to get the puck, fake out Denis, and bang the puck into the net.
Jason Woolley scored the eventual game winning goal late in the first. Brett Hull set up a centering pass from the left boards, and Woolley sneaked in to slap the puck past Denis from the high slot.
There was no scoring in the second period, but there was a fair bit of hitting. Sean Avery seemed to be the preferred target of the Blue Jackets, and he of course returned the hits in kind.
Columbus scored again early in the third. Max Kuznetsov had trouble handling a pass at his own blue line, and Geoff Sanderson and Sillinger got in with the puck onside. Sillinger passed to Sanderson, then got the puck back, and put it in past Joseph.
The Blue Jackets tried to use their momentum from that goal to come back and tie the game, but the Red Wings really shut down defensively after that, allowing only four shots on net through the whole period. Columbus made their final bid for a tied game in the last minute when they pulled Denis to send in the extra skater, but they weren’t able to get enough control of the puck to get a scoring chance. Brett Hull got the puck just to the Columbus side of center, and even though he was being hooked by Derrick Walser, he made a good backhand shot which sailed down the ice and into the empty net to put the game away.
The final count of shots on net was 34-26 in Detroit’s favor. The Red Wings play their next game on Saturday night, when they travel to Nashville to face the Predators.
Patrick Boileau’s assist on Tomas Holmstrom’s first goal was the first of his NHL career…. Brett Hull’s goal moved him within eight of becoming only the sixth player in league history to score 700 career goals.