The Columbus Blue Jackets scored three times in the first period and added one more late in the third, holding off a comeback by the Detroit Red Wings to pick up a 4-3 win.
Columbus opened the scoring at 8:30 with a shorthanded goal by Jason Chimera. Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek misplayed the puck behind the net and Chimera jumped on it, looping back out in front of the goal to lift a shot over Hasek’s shoulder and into the top of the net.
Just 1:24, the Blue Jackets’ lead went to two when Rick Nash got the puck all alone in front of Hasek and put it around the sprawling goaltender.
With 1:22 remaining in the period, former Red Wing Sergei Fedorov notched his first of two goals on the night on a wrister from the right circle between Hasek’s legs, a power play goal.
Goaltender Chris Osgood, returning from a hand injury that forced him to miss six weeks, took over in the Detroit net for the second period as the Red Wings mounted a comeback.
With 6:03 remaining in the middle frame, Robert Lang got the puck from behind the net on a pass by Dan Cleary and put a shot into Columbus netminder Fredrik Norrena. Lang picked up his own rebound and reached across the top of the crease, putting it around Norrena to get the Red Wings on the board.
The game’s final minutes became a shootout when Jiri Hudler wristed a shot past Norrena with 7:18 remaining in regulation.
The Red Wings pressured to get the tying goal but Fedorov notched his second of the night with 1:52 remaining on a 3-on-1. Only 20 seconds later, Lang scored again to pull Detroit back within one.
With Osgood on the bench for the extra attacker, the Red Wings were unable to pull even and Columbus held on for the win.
Osgood finished the night with 13 saves on 14 shots, allowing only the eventual game-winner to Fedorov. Hasek made nine saves on 12 shots in his period of play, while Norrena stopped 33 of 36 shots against.
The Blue Jackets scored the game’s only power play goal on one of their six tries with the man-advantage. Detroit had four power play attempts.
The two teams will meet again in Detroit on Wednesday in the second game of their home-and-home series.