Quick Goals Give Red Wings Win over Blue Jackets

The Detroit Red Wings rallied from a 2-1 deficit Wednesday night with three goals in a 1:16 span en route to a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The win, combined with the Phoenix Coyotes’ defeat of the Nashville Predators, puts the Red Wings in fifth place in the Western Conference with two games remaining in the season.

Tomas Holmstrom scored two power play goals and Danny Cleary added an even-strength tally that proved to be the game-winner.

Holmstrom’s first goal came 8:05 into the third, when a Henrik Zetterberg shot deflected past Columbus goalie Steve Mason off of Holmstrom’s skate.

His second came 40 seconds later, tipping Nicklas Lidstrom‘s one-timer from the high slot past Mason.

Cleary scored just 36 seconds later, snapping a shot from the slot past Mason into the top of the net.

Mike Blunden pulled the Jackets to back within a goal with 9:47 left in the third, weaving between defenseman Jonathan Ericsson and Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to slide the puck in the open side of the net.

The Blue Jackets could not tie things back up, however, even with Mason pulled for an extra attacker in the game’s final minute.

The Red Wings had opened the game’s scoring just 2:32 into the first period, when Niklas Kronwall whipped a shot past Mason from the high slot off of a backhand feed from Todd Bertuzzi.

R.J. Umberger tied the game at 8:58 of the first, capitalizing on a rare giveaway by Lidstrom to jump into the Detroit zone and roof a chance over Howard.

Samuel Pahlsson took advantage of another turnover, spinning to fling a shot past Howard from the left faceoff circle after Andreas Lilja failed to control the puck.

The Red Wings finished the night two-for-five on the power play while Columbus went scoreless on one power play attempt.

Howard made 21 saves on 24 Columbus shots. Mason stopped 31 of 35 shots faced.

The two teams will meet again in Columbus on Friday.


Columbus was without captain Rick Nash, out with neck and back stiffness… Eaves and Kris Russell fought late in the first period.

Red Wings – Blue Jackets: Pregame Notes and Playoff Positioning

The Red Wings make their final home appearance of the regular season tonight as they host the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first game of a home-and-home matchup. The Wings will not return home until Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, though their opponent has yet to be determined.

Andreas Lilja will jump back into the Detroit lineup, joining Jonathan Ericsson on the third defensive pairing. Jimmy Howard returns to the crease after Chris Osgood got the start on Sunday in Philadelphia.

Columbus could be without captain and leading scorer Rick Nash. He will be a gametime decision.

The Western Conference playoff teams are decided at this point but their spots are all up in the air.

The San Jose Sharks sit in first place but are only two points up on the Chicago Blackhawks, with the ‘Hawks having a game in hand.

The Vancouver Canucks are locked into the third spot, unable to catch Chicago or San Jose but having clinched the Northwest Division.

The Phoenix Coyotes sit fourth with 102 points. If Phoenix wins any of their three remaining games they’ll clinch that spot, otherwise they could be caught by the Nashville Predators or Los Angeles Kings. Detroit could tie them in points but would have fewer wins.

Nashville sits four points back of Phoenix with two games left. The Predators could finish anywhere from fourth to eighth, as the Kings, Red Wings, and Colorado Avalanche can all surpass them in the right circumstances.

Los Angeles is in the same boat as Nashville, able to finish from fourth to eighth. The Red Wings can drop to eighth but only move up to fifth, same as the Avalanche.