The Detroit Red Wings rebounded from a Friday night game in which they blew a 3-0 lead late in the third period to hold on to the same lead on Sunday afternoon, earning a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
While the Red Wings allowed three late third period goals to the Dallas Stars on Friday before losing in the shootout, they kept the Blue Jackets off the board until the game’s final minute on Sunday, securing the victory.
Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek’s shutout wasn’t snapped until 59 seconds remained in the final period, when Rick Nash scored on a wraparound attempt, banging in his own rebound.
After a scoreless first period, the Red Wings opened the game’s scoring just 1:57 into the second when a blast from above the right circle by Brett Lebda found its way into the top of the net on a Detroit power play.
Tomas Holmstrom put the Wings up by a pair 8:30 later, putting the rebound of a Lebda shot around goalie Fredrik Norrena while being knocked to the ice by defenseman Marc Methot.
Pavel Datsyuk wrapped up the period’s scoring with the Red Wings on the penalty kill, stealing the puck from defenseman Anders Eriksson in the neutral zone and breaking in along on Norrena before rifling a quick shot past him.
Holmstrom added his second of the afternoon just 49 seconds into the third when a Kris Draper shot deflected off his skate, then the skate of defenseman Rostislav Klesla before getting past Norrena.
With the win, the Red Wings pull into sole possession of first place in the Western Conference, as well as the overall lead of the National Hockey League.
Hasek made 31 saves on 32 shots overall while Norrena stopped 21 of the 25 attempts he faced.
Detroit scored on one of three power play attempts. Columbus was without a goal on six chances with the extra attacker.
The Red Wings and Blue Jackets will meet again on Tuesday night to close out the season series in Detroit. Detroit will then end the regular season with a home-and-home series against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Red Wings were without captain Nicklas Lidstrom who sat out the game with a back sprain. He is expected to rejoin the team on Tuesday. Kyle Quincey was called up from Grand Rapids to fill in on the blue line.