In a game of no postseason consequence, the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1, Saturday night. It was the last game of the season for both teams. The Red Wings had already clinched the NHL’s best record, while the Blue Jackets were already eliminated from the playoffs.
Columbus opened the game’s scoring 6:27 into the game. On the power play, former Red Wing Anders Eriksson fired a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle. Just outside the crease, the puck was deflected downwards and slipped under the glove of Detroit goalie Manny Legace.
The Red Wings tied the game just 50 seconds later. Defenseman Derian Hatcher fired a shot from the blue line that went wide of the net and bounced off the boards behind Columbus netminder Marc Denis. Steve Thomas picked up the loose puck at the other side of the net and banked a shot off Denis, tying the game.
Rick Nash scored his league-leading 41st goal of the season 4:07 into the second period to put the Blue Jackets back on top. Nash beat Legace with a shot from the bottom of the right circle.
Just 3:45 later, Trevor Letowski lifted a shot over Legace from in close to put Columbus up by two.
The Red Wings were unable to score to even the game up, and the Blue Jackets added a goal by David Vyborny with eight seconds remaining in the game.
Legace stopped 13 shots out of the 17 he faced in the game, while Denis made 32 saves on 33 shots.
The Red Wings will open the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday or Thursday night against either the Nashville Predators or the Edmonton Oilers.