24 Hours Can Make A Big Difference

Whatever it was that Columbus Blue Jackets coach Doug McLean said to his team after last night’s 5-1 blowout loss to Detroit, it worked. The Blue Jackets rallied to take a 3-0 win over the Red Wings and split the home and home series with one win apiece.

It was evident from the first drop of the puck that tonight’s game was going to have more of a defensive focus than last night’s shooting match. Both teams seemed wary of each other. The Red Wings had a few good scoring chances against Marc Denis in the first period, but an odd bounce let Columbus open the scoring.

Rostislav Klesla took a shot from the right point. Trevor Letowski tipped the shot on its way through so that Manny Legace wasn’t able to stop it cleanly, and Rick Nash flipped the puck into an open corner of the net.

The Blue Jackets got an even bigger boost to their momentum when they managed to kill off a double minor penalty which overlapped the end of the first and beginning of the second periods. The Red Wings failed to capitalize on Jody Shelley‘s trip to the box for high sticking and unsportsmanlike conduct, which gave the Blue Jackets the energy they needed to score their second goal of the game.

Andrew Cassels carried the puck behind the net, then out to the side. His tight angle shot just squeezed into the net between Legace and his short side goalpost at 4:23 of the second.

Darryl Bootland made an effort to liven up the Red Wings by starting a a fight against David Ling. Bootland got the better of the fight, but he also got a two minute minor for instigating and a ten minute misconduct to go along with his five minute fighting major.

Legace kept Detroit in the game by stopping Nash on a breakaway attempt, but the Red Wings just couldn’t manage to set up a strong scoring chance against Denis. Dan Fritsche’s goal from the left faceoff circle early in the third period put the game away for good for Columbus.

Detroit outshot Columbus by a narrow count of 25-24. The Red Wings will play next on Saturday night when they face the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul.

Wings Down Jackets After First Period Shootout

The Red Wings and the Blue Jackets combined to score seven goals in the first period and ten goals overall as Detroit downed Columbus 6-4 Saturday night. It was the third time this season the Red Wings reached six goals in one game.

Detroit’s Brendan Shanahan started the scoring just 1:10 into the game. Tomas Holmstrom broke in on Columbus goaltender Marc Denis fifty-one seconds later and beat him to the side to put the Wings up by two.

The Blue Jackets tied the game up a quarter of the way through the period with two goals almost two minutes apart.

Sergei Fedorov‘s first goal of the night gave Detroit the lead again just past the midway point of the period but Tyler Wright tied the game again for the Jackets twenty-two seconds later.

The Red Wings exited the period with a 4-3 lead after Darren McCarty scored with just over two minutes remaining.

Scoring calmed down in the second period with the only goal coming as Fedorov notched his second of the night. While shorthanded, Shanahan sent a pass out to Fedorov, who punched a shot past Denis, extending the Red Wings’ lead to two goals.

At the 1:40 mark of the third period, Columbus pulled back within one on a goal by Jody Shelley ut it would prove to not be enough.

Kirk Maltby added an insurance goal with 7:47 remaining in the game. Detroit fought off a late charge while Denis was on the bench and Columbus had a power play to get the 6-4 win.

Curtis Joseph stopped eighteen of twenty-two shots faced in net for the Red Wings while Denis made twenty-eight saves on thirty-four shots for Columbus.

The Red Wings are back in action on Tuesday night when they visit the New York Islanders.

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