In their final game of the 2005 calendar year, the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 5-2.
The game was Detroit’s 60th in franchise history on New Year’s Eve and the win gave them an overall record of 31-21-8 in those games. They have won their last five games on December 31.
The Red Wings were behind early, when Columbus got goals from Rick Nash and Jason Chimera to open the scoring.
At 9:27 of the first period as the teams skated 4-on-4, former Red Wing Jamie Pushor fired a shot from the point that Nash tipped in the slot, getting it past Detroit netminder Chris Osgood.
Just 36 seconds into the second period, the Blue Jackets struck again when Chimera skated around defenseman Brett Lebda at the Detroit blueline and outwaited a sprawling Osgood to put the puck behind him.
Long-time Red Wing Sergei Fedorov sent Johan Franzen crashing into Columbus goalie Pascal Leclaire at 1:51 of the second, knocking Leclaire out of the game and putting Fedorov in the penalty box.
On the ensuing power play, 1:16 later, Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the blue line that found its way into the net behind Marc Denis to put Detroit on the board.
Mathieu Schneider tied the game 4:50 later, firing a shot from the high slot that deflected off a diving Fedorov and past Denis.
The Red Wings gained the lead with 53 seconds left in the period when Mikael Samuelsson scored. Robert Lang threw the puck on net from the right circle and Denis kicked it back to that side of the net while moving to the far post. Samuelsson jumped from behind the net to knock the puck into the open goal.
Lidstrom scored his second of the night at 4:19 of the third period. When the puck bounced off the left wing boards and came into an empty left circle, Lidstrom jumped up from the point and rifled a shot into the net.
With 5:34 remaining, Samuelsson’s second goal of the game closed the scoring. He had the puck all alone at the side of the crease and lifted a shot over Denis’ shoulder for a power play goal.
Osgood ended up facing only 15 shots on the night, stopping 13 of them. Leclaire stopped all 13 shots he faced while Denis made 25 saves on 30 shots.
Detroit went two-for-six on the power play and held Columbus without a goal on five chances with the extra skater.
The Red Wings will host the Minnesota Wild in their first game of the 2006 calendar year on Tuesday.
Goalie Manny Legace returned to the Red Wings’ roster after a one-game rehab stint in Grand Rapids on Friday. He backed up Chris Osgood.