Red Wings Down Blue Jackets on Filppula’s Shootout Goal

Valtteri Fillpula scored in the fourth round of the shootout Saturday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Filppula’s goal was the only one of the tiebreaker. Pavel Datsyuk, Jiri Hudler and Todd Bertuzzi couldn’t beat Columbus netminder Curtis Sanford while Rick Nash, Derek Dorsett, Derick Brassard and Ryan Johansen failed to score on Detroit’s Jimmy Howard.

To beat Sanford, Filppula faked to his backhand, then pulled it back to his forehand and lifted a shot into the top of the net.

It was Detroit’s third consecutive 3-2 shootout win and their six consecutive win overall. The Red Wings also extended their franchise-record home winning streak to sixteen games.

Columbus’ Ryan Russell opened the game’s scoring at 8:51 of the first period, jumping towards the net to knock the rebound of a Dorsett shot past Howard.

With 8:26 left in the period, Niklas Kronwall tied things back up. Kronwall joined the rush and carried the puck into the Columbus zone, fighting off a check to get into the high slot before wristing a shot past Sanford.

The teams traded power play goals in the second period.

Nikita Nikitin beat Howard from the point off a faceoff win at 8:43. His shot deflected off Datsyuk’s skate to confuse the Detroit goalie.

Nicklas Lidstrom made it 2-2 with 8:57 left in the frame. His shot from the blue line went wide of the net with Tomas Holmstrom screening in front, but the puck bounced off the back boards, then went off Sanford and into the net.

With 9:51 remaining in regulation, Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg was ejected from the game and given a five-minute major for boarding after he pushed Nikitin into the boards. Nikitin lost his balance and crashed feet-first. He needed to be helped off the ice and did not return.

Each team had one power play goal on the night. The Red Wings had four chances with the power play to Columbus’ three, though the Blue Jackets had more time with the extra skater due to Zetterberg’s major penalty.

Howard stopped 17 of the 19 shots he faced in earning the win. Sanford made 29 saves on 31 shots.

The Red Wings next game is Monday when they host the St. Louis Blues.


Jan Mursak and Jakub Kindl were the healthy scratches for the Red Wings. Former Red Wing Brett Lebda was Columbus’ only healthy scratch.

Postgame: Blue Jackets @ Red Wings – 1/21

Short and sweet: It should not have taken the shootout for the Red Wings to beat the Blue Jackets tonight. Detroit is the best team in the league (or among them, depending on the time of day) and Columbus is the worst. Needing the gimmick to get the win is disappointing.

That said… Valtteri Filppula‘s shootout goal was fantastic and Jimmy Howard was a beast once again. Howard has now only allowed two goals on 14 shootout attempts against this season. Unreal.

Ridiculous stat time… The Red Wings now have three consecutive 3-2 shootout wins. Six of their last eight games have been 3-2 OT/SO wins. Every OT/SO win this season has been 3-2. The only time Detroit has lost outside of regulation is also their only non 3-2 OT game, a 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild (which means the opposition has scored exactly two goals in every Wings overtime game this season).

Only thing left to mention is Henrik Zetterberg‘s upcoming suspension. I don’t know if he’ll get one or not. I fear he will because the NHL is trying to protect players going into the boards but I think that was a pretty innocent play. Ugly, but innocent. We’ll see.