Shootout Loss Spoils Bertuzzi’s Detroit Debut

A shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets spoiled the debut of Todd Bertuzzi for the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night.

Bertuzzi, playing his first game since November when he was with the Florida Panthers, finished the night plus-one with no points and a missed shootout attempt.

Former Red Wing Sergei Fedorov clinched the win for Columbus, scoring in the sixth round of the shootout. Mikael Samuelsson had missed on Detroit attempt in the final round.

Neither team scored in the first forty minutes of play, which was controlled by Columbus as the Red Wings played a lazy game.

Pavel Datsyuk scored to get Detroit on the board at 8:30 of the third period. Jiri Hudler poked the puck to him in the neutral zone and Datsyuk carried into the Columbus end before wristing a shot past the glove of Blue Jackets’ goalie Fredrik Norrena.

Ole-Kristian Tollefsen tied things back up with 2:42 remaining, firing a shot from the top of the left circle that bounced off the blade of Robert Lang‘s stick and past Detroit goalie Chris Osgood.

Osgood finished the night with 29 saves on 30 shots against. Norrena made 35 saves on 36 shots, with half of those shots coming in the third period.

Neither team scored on the power play. Detroit five tries and Columbus had six, including a lengthy five-on-three.

The point for the shootout loss gives the Red Wings 100 on the year, the seventh season in a row that they’ve reached triple-digit points. They’ll look to add to that total on Saturday when they host the St. Louis Blues.

Dan Cleary also returned to the Detroit lineup. He was held without a point but scored in his fourth-round shootout attempt.

Bertuzzi to Debut Against Blue Jackets

Detroit Red Wings’ trade deadline acquisition Todd Bertuzzi will make his first appearance in the lineup Thursday night as the Red Wings host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Bertuzzi, who played only seven games with the Florida Panthers before back surgery knocked him out of the lineup in November, confirmed after Thursday’s morning skate that his back is fully healed and that he feels that he is in game shape.

“It’s fun to be part of a team again,” said Bertuzzi. “The mental part is pretty much done, it’s (the back) 100 percent healed. I’m going to treat it that way and try to get some hits early and get involved in the game.”

Dan Cleary will also return to the lineup, having recovered from a right knee sprain.

“We’re very excited to have them back and get some depth back,” head coach Mike Babcock said.

Bertuzzi will play on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom, a spot previously filled by the injured Henrik Zetterberg and taken as of late by rookie Valtteri Filppula.