Big Saves, Big Goals Extend Unbeaten Streak to Five

An excellent game by Manny Legace and two goals by Brett Hull helped the Red Wings gain a 5-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first game of a home and home series.

The Blue Jackets started the game strongly, outshooting Detroit by the considerable margin of 18 to 11 in the first period. Legace was solid and kept the Red Wings in the game with some big saves, which gave Detroit the chance to open the scoring.

Kirk Maltby took a shot against Columbus goaltender Marc Denis from the right circle. The shot changed direction off the stick of Rastislav Klesla, so Denis wasn’t able to stop it cleanly. The rebound came out to Kris Draper, who flipped it into the net.

Hull scored his first of the game just two minutes later. Pavel Datsyuk centered the puck from the right boards, and Hull one-timed it past Denis on the short side.
Columbus continued to press, but Legace held them off with big saves against Rick Nash and Geoff Sanderson with only a few seconds left in the period.

The Red Wings came to their goalie’s aid and took control of the game in the second period, not letting the Blue Jackets get a chance to set up any good scoring chances. Tomas Holmstrom increased the lead with a power play goal five minutes in. Denis stopped the first shot by Nicklas Lidstrom, and the rebound shot by Steve Yzerman, but Holmstrom was able to whack the second rebound into the net.
Hull’s second goal of the night came a few minutes later. David Vyborny turned the puck over at his own blue line, and Hull scooped it up to take a quick shot which went right through Denis.

The Blue Jackets finally got on the board during a penalty to Jiri Fischer early in the third. Sanderson’s shot from in front of the crease bounced off the goal post and off Legace’s shin pad before trickling across the goal line.
Columbus gained a lot of momentum from that goal, and they pressed hard offensively after that. Legace was challenged to make some vital saves until the Red Wings could regain control of the game’s flow.

Steve Thomas took advantage of another Columbus turnover to put the game out of reach for good. Jaroslav Spacek’s clearing attempt bounced off Thomas and back into the zone, and Thomas was away with it, putting a high shot over Denis from just in front of the net.

Detroit outshot Columbus by a final count of 42-38. The Red Wings and Blue Jackets will finish up their home and home series tomorrow night in Columbus.

Darren McCarty was officially placed on the injured reserve list today due to his back spasms, and forward Mark Mowers was called up from the Griffins…. Dominik Hasek and Ray Whitney both sat out this game with groin injuries…. Datsyuk’s assist on Hull’s first goal was his 100th career point.

Solid Game, Big Goals Give Detroit 4-1 Win Over Columbus

The milestones just keep coming for Brett Hull. The veteran right winger opened Detroit’s scoring with his 717th career goal tonight, tying him with Phil Esposito for fourth place on the NHL’s career goal list and propelling the Red Wings to a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Red Wings started the first period skating confidently. The Blue Jackets settled into their usual defensive style of play, but Detroit still managed to fire ten shots against goaltender Marc Denis. Columbus, on the other hand, managed only five shots against Manny Legace, making his first start of the season.

Hull’s opening goal came 5:32 into the second period. Pavel Datsyuk carried the puck towards the right side of the net, luring Denis over, then made a quick pass across the crease to Hull. Hull easily flipped the puck into the open net.

The same offensive line added another goal just 23 seconds later. Brendan Shanahan made a pass from the left boards to Datsyuk in the high slot. Datsyuk was all alone in front of Denis, and he fooled the goaltender by flipping from his backhand to his forehand before putting the puck in just under the crossbar.

The Blue Jackets cut Detroit’s lead to one goal near the end of the period, during four-on-four play resulting from coincidental penalties to Jiri Hudler and Andrej Nedorost. Todd Marchant and Rick Nash were up on a two on one rush. Marchant was pulled down by Jiri Fischer, but he still managed to get the puck across to Nash, who put the puck just past Legace’s outstretched glove.

Columbus gained some momentum from their goal, and Legace was called upon to make some important saves through the end of the second and the beginning of the third periods.

Detroit regained control of the game with a power play goal 6:53 into the third, with Darryl Sydor in the box for holding. Steve Yzerman passed to Shanahan at the right point. Shanahan made a hard shot which shattered the blade of his stick, but that didn’t matter. The puck brushed Tomas Holmstrom on its way through and fooled Denis to increase the lead to 3-1.

The Red Wings capped off the game with a shorthanded goal a few minutes later. Shanahan was in the box for holding, but the Columbus power play unit didn’t have an easy time of it. Henrik Zetterberg intercepted Jaroslav Spacek’s pass near Detroit’s blue line. He and Ray Whitney, a former Blue Jacket, took off down the ice on a two-on-one rush. The defending Columbus player was unable to take the pass away, Zetterberg flipped the puck to Whitney, and Whitney put the puck past Denis.

Legace made 18 of 19 saves to start his season with a save percentage of .947. Denis stopped 24 of 28 shots for a save percentage of .857. The Red Wings’ next opponent will be the Dallas Stars, Friday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Wings & Jackets Battle To 5-5 Tie

The President’s Trophy may be out of reach now, but the top spot in the Western Conference is still within grasp. The one point the Red Wings gained in tonight’s 5-5 tie with the Columbus Blue Jackets ties Detroit with Dallas for first seed.

On paper and by the numbers, it looked as if the Red Wings should be able to romp right over the Blue Jackets. Yet Columbus consistently plays their very best games against Detroit, and tonight was certainly no exception.

David Vyborny opened the scoring for Columbus just 2:39 into the game. He was up ice on a three on two rush with Andrew Cassels and Geoff Sanderson. Sanderson sent the pass across, and Vyborny was able to lift it high into the net before Manny Legace could slide across to block the shot.

Cassels scored next for Columbus, midway through the period. He picked the puck away from Mathieu Dandenault at the Columbus blue line, then carried up through center. Cassels shot from the Red Wings’ blue line and the puck flew into the net.

Tyler Wright increased the Blue Jacket’s lead to three goals early in the second period. Rick Nash had three Red Wings covering him, but he managed to get the puck away to Vyborny, who gave it to Wright. Wright was all alone in front of the net and he was able to lift the puck high over Legace.

Kris Draper took away some of the Blue Jackets’ momentum. Darren McCarty made the pass crossing the blue line. Draper carried the puck up the right side and snapped a shot on net. The puck went off the far goalpost and in past Marc Denis.

The Red Wings got a power play shortly after that, on a holding call to Duvie Westcott. Sergei Fedorov shot the puck on net. Tomas Holmstrom scooped it away from Denis and tossed it over to the side of the crease, where Brendan Shanahan had plenty of empty space to slap the puck into the net.

Legace made a huge save on Vyborny on the very next shift to keep the Wings within one, and Denis answered with an equally huge save on Fedorov. Ray Whitney was the one to increase the Blue Jackets’ lead to 4-2. He carried the puck into the zone past Dmitri Bykov and took a hard shot which brushed the top of Legace’s blocker on its way through to the net.

Brett Hull brought the Red Wings back within one early in the third. Pavel Datsyuk made the pass from the slot area to the left boards, and Hull wristed the shot off both goalposts and into the net. The momentum swing was short-lived, unfortunately. Just a minute later, Lasse Pirjeta was able to get the rebound from a mad scramble in front of the Detroit net and slide it into the net beneath Legace’s ankle.

Kirk Maltby added a goal with 4:01 left to play, just aafter a Detroit power play had ended. He came over the boards, took the puck at center, and skated right through the standing Columbus skaters to backhand the puck past Denis.

The shots came in a flurry after that. With 1:22 remaining, Detroit called a timeout and pulled Legace out of the net to send in six skaters. The Blue Jackets thought that Vyborny scored into the empty net with 0:41 remaining, but the goal was waved off because the referee had been blowing his whistle to stop the play beforehand due to player injury. Shanahan had been hit in the mouth by the puck and had dropped to the ice.

The tying goal finally came with just 0:12 left to play. Fedorov passed the puck from the right corner to Hull along the opposite boards. Hull threw it out into the slot for Datsyuk, and Datysuk slapped it into the net past Denis.

Given the intense pace of the last few minutes of regulation, the overtime started quietly. Each team took only two shots on net in the extra five minutes. Maltby and Wright got into a scuffle in front of the Columbus net with just under a minute to play, but nothing came of it, and the game ended in a 5-5 tie.

Each team had 35 shots on net. Detroit was 1 for 5 on the power play; Columbus was 0 for 3. The Red Wings will close out the regular season on Sunday afternoon with a matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Denis set a new record for minutes played in a season. He had 4451 at the end of this game, passing Martin Brodeur‘s record of 4439 set in the 1995-96 season…. Shanahan’s goal was his 30th of the season and the 533rd of his career, tying him with Frank Mahovlich for 22nd on the all-time goal scorers list…. Hull is now just one goal away from tying Phil Esposito for 4th place on the goal scorers list…. The Red Wings are now tied with the Stars with 109 points each. If the two teams are still tied for points after their final games on Sunday, the Red Wings will take first spot because they have the higher number of wins. The Ottawa Senators have 111 points, but they also have 51 wins to the Red Wings’ 48 and the Stars’ 45, so the Senators will be awarded the President’s Trophy.

Still Rolling

Superior penalty killing, skillful playmaking by Pavel Datsyuk, and excellent goaltending by Manny Legace led the Red Wings to their sixth straight victory, a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Blue Jackets were given five power plays in the first period alone, including a four minute high-sticking double minor to Maxim Kuznetsov. With the constant penalty-killing necessary, the Red Wings managed only two shots on net the entire period, but one of those shots was the first goal of the game. Datsyuk threaded a pass across the front of the goal crease through a passing lane just wide enough to get a puck through. Brendan Shanahan was skating towards the net, and he had his stick down on the ice to tip the puck past Marc Denis.

Columbus managed thirteen shots in the first period, but only one of those, a wrist shot by Ray Whitney, made it in past Legace. The high number of shots didn’t seem to bother Legace at all, however. “It was good to get shots early,” he explained. “The last game I didn’t get any shots. Getting a lot of shots early gets you into the game and gets you back into a little rhythm.”

Brett Hull, playing through a bad cold, gave the Red Wings the lead again early in the second period. Datsyuk passed the puck to Jason Woolley, who had pinched in deep towards the goal line, and Woolley centered the puck to Hull. Hull then one-timed the shot, and the puck sailed into the net past Denis.

A bad bounce for Detroit let Columbus tie the game back up early in the third period. Whitney’s pass from behind the net bounced off the skate of Rostislav Klesla and into the net before Legace could react.

Midway through the third period, the Red Wings were able to take the lead for good when Jaroslav Spacek was sent to the penalty box for a boarding call against Darren McCarty. Woolley got the puck to Shanahan along the left side. Shanahan used a Columbus defenseman as a screen. His shot went right between the defenseman’s legs and past Denis for the goal.

The Blue Jackets were far from done, and Legace made some key saves as the clock ran down. Geoff Sanderson had a chance to score on a rebound right in front of the crease, but Legace got in the way. Jamie Allison made a hard, well-aimed shot from the left faceoff circle, but Legace blocked that one too, leaving Columbus coach Doug MacLean shaking his head. “We had a great third period,” he said. “Great chances and great saves by Legace. He made five or six great saves at the end.”

Over the course of the game, Columbus outshot Detroit by a total of 31 to 23. The Red Wings will return home for their next game Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Steve Yzerman returned to the lineup for this game. He played 14:49 over the course of the game, an increase over his two previous games…. Sergei Fedorov and Chris Chelios both sat out. Fedorov warmed up before the game, but returned to the dressing room complaining of a sore back from being slammed into the goalpost Sunday night against Phoenix. Chelios had an MRI on the knee he twisted in the last game. The results were fine, but Chelios will sit out the rest of the week as a precautionary measure. Fedorov should return to the lineup against Tampa Bay.

More of the Same Against Columbus

For once, a Red Wings game against the Columbus Blue Jackets was not decided by only one goal. The teams were feisty again, and the goaltending was excellent again, but this one ended as a 4-2 Wings victory.

Tomas Holmstrom opened the scoring in the early going, just 2:50 into the first period. Boyd Devereaux took a shot off of Patrick Boileau’s pass. It rebounded off the blocker of Marc Denis, and Holmstrom was able to tap it past Denis while falling.

Mike Sillinger scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game 8:49 into the period. He broke free on a two-on-one rush. Henrik Zetterberg was able to get in between and take away the possibility of a passing play, but Sillinger pulled Curtis Joseph to the left just enough to give himself space on the right side to put the puck in the net.

Holmstrom took advantage of a bad clearing attempt by the Blue Jackets to regain the lead for Detroit just a few minutes later. The Columbus defenseman poke checked the puck away from Nicklas Lidstrom, but it didn’t pass the blue line. Holmstrom was the last Detroit player back, and he was able to get the puck, fake out Denis, and bang the puck into the net.

Jason Woolley scored the eventual game winning goal late in the first. Brett Hull set up a centering pass from the left boards, and Woolley sneaked in to slap the puck past Denis from the high slot.

There was no scoring in the second period, but there was a fair bit of hitting. Sean Avery seemed to be the preferred target of the Blue Jackets, and he of course returned the hits in kind.

Columbus scored again early in the third. Max Kuznetsov had trouble handling a pass at his own blue line, and Geoff Sanderson and Sillinger got in with the puck onside. Sillinger passed to Sanderson, then got the puck back, and put it in past Joseph.

The Blue Jackets tried to use their momentum from that goal to come back and tie the game, but the Red Wings really shut down defensively after that, allowing only four shots on net through the whole period. Columbus made their final bid for a tied game in the last minute when they pulled Denis to send in the extra skater, but they weren’t able to get enough control of the puck to get a scoring chance. Brett Hull got the puck just to the Columbus side of center, and even though he was being hooked by Derrick Walser, he made a good backhand shot which sailed down the ice and into the empty net to put the game away.

The final count of shots on net was 34-26 in Detroit’s favor. The Red Wings play their next game on Saturday night, when they travel to Nashville to face the Predators.

Patrick Boileau’s assist on Tomas Holmstrom’s first goal was the first of his NHL career…. Brett Hull’s goal moved him within eight of becoming only the sixth player in league history to score 700 career goals.

The Real Cujo Returns in Shutout of Columbus

Curtis Joseph made his return to the net against the Columbus Blue Jackets after sitting out two games, and he was more than ready to go. “It’s been a week; it feels like it’s been three weeks,” he told reporters. Whether it was the rest or the determination not to be pulled again, or a combination thereof, Joseph looked like his old, all-star self in net, stopping 33 good shots and letting the Red Wings take a 1-0 win.

It was a very different game from the 6-4 end the Red Wings and Blue Jackets played to just ten nights ago. This time, both teams worked hard to create scoring chances and outwork each others’ defense. Columbus looked like a team that should be higher in the standings than it is (they have 29 points for fourth place in the Central Division), and the Red Wings responded to their opponents’ enthusiasm with hard play of their own. Joseph and Columbus goalie Marc Denis were both phenomenal, turning aside scoring chances with seeming ease.

Sean Avery, Boyd Devereaux, and Tomas Holmstrom had an excellent game together. Their line did not score, but they did a great job of getting scoring chances and wreaking havoc among the Columbus defenders every time they were out on the ice. Maxim Kuznetsov, paired with Chris Chelios, made himself noticed with solid defensive play for most of the game.

Luc Robitaille “almost” scored a power play goal early in the second period. The puck was under the goaltender’s leg pads, but the referee did not call it a goal, no official deemed it worthy of review, and play continued. Later enhanced video replay showed that the puck had actually crossed the goal line, but by then it was too late to go back and allow the goal.

Avery ended the second period with a fight with Duvie Westcott. Westcott was given a game misconduct and thrown out of the game because he didn’t have his jersey strapped down properly, which gave him an unfair fighting advantage.

Kris Draper finally got the Red Wings on the board with only 4:27 left to play in the second period. Brendan Shanahan got the puck free along the left boards, then turned fired it at Denis while skating back towards the blue line. Denis bobbled the save, and Draper was in just the right place to slap the rebound into the net for his fourth goal of the season.

The Blue Jackets came on even stronger then. Joseph continued to come up huge, stopping two hard shots by Geoff Sanderson and keeping the lead for Detroit. Columbus got a break with 33 seconds left. Draper was sent to the box for obstruction holding, and the Blue Jackets pulled Denis for another skater and a 6-on-4 advantage. The Red Wings, however, kept control of the puck and didn’t even let the Blue Jackets get another shot on net with their manpower advantage.

Final shots on net were 33-28 in favor of Columbus. These two teams will meet again on Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena to finish out their home-and-home series.

Brendan Shanahan’s assist extended his point streak to six games…. Columbus’s Andrew Cassels left the game after the second period because of a hyperextended elbow…. Pavel Datsyuk skated before the team practice yesterday with a brace on his knee. The team expects him to return sometime in mid-January…. Steve Yzerman also skated, and took part in three-on-three practice scrimmages. Coach Dave Lewis said that Yzerman looked the best he had since his knee surgery.

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.

Not Their Nicest Win

The Red Wings played a lackluster game overall Thursday night, but star moments from Nick Lidstrom, Brendan Shanahan, and Sergei Fedorov, as well as a good, solid debut for Jiri Slegr, were enough to carry them over the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2.

The game began on a somber note, with a moment of silent remembrance for Brittanie Cecil, the little girl killed by an injury from a deflected puck at the Blue Jackets’ game against Edmonton on Saturday night.

Columbus played a clumsy game in the first period, making several mistakes in attempting to clear the puck from their zone. Even though the Red Wings were able to set up a few scoring chances from the Blue Jackets’ errors, they were unable to put the puck past goaltender Marc Denis.

The Blue Jackets came on harder and the Red Wings eased off in the second period. Columbus opened the scoring just over two minutes in. David Vyborny put an unremarkable shot towards the net, but it slipped past the Red Wings’ defensemen and Ray Whitney managed to redirect it just enough to put it into the net past Dominik Hasek.

Kirk Maltby evened up the game a few minutes later. Nick Lidstrom passed the puck to Maltby, who flew up the right wing side and threw a hard shot towards the net. Igor Larionov was skating towards the net looking to pick up the rebound, but it proved to be unnecessary, as Maltby’s shot bounced off Denis’s blocker and in for the goal.

Columbus regained the lead midway through the period, managing to score against an uninspired Red Wings power play. Espen Knutsen intercepted a pass and took off down the ice, then passed across to Jaroslav Spacek coming up the left wing side. Spacek brought the puck in close to the net, then backhanded a shot over the top of Hasek.

The Red Wings tried to kick up the offense in the third period, but seemed to have to kill off a penalty just as the game’s momentum would be starting to favor them. Sergei Fedorov finally tied the game with less than five minutes remaining. Lidstrom passed neatly to Brendan Shanahan, who fired towards the net, but the puck angled off a Columbus player’s skate and directly to Fedorov, waiting with a hard one-time shot. Denis was being screened by Darren McCarty, and did not see that the puck had angled across to Fedorov, so was completely out of position for the shot.

Just as Fedorov, Shanahan, and Lidstrom sent the game to overtime, they also brought the overtime to a speedy conclusion. Only twenty-five seconds in, Fedorov grabbed up a rebound from Shanahan’s shot, set up by Lidstrom, and skated it quickly around the back of the net, then stuffed it in before Denis could quite realize where the puck had gone.

Shots on goal were twenty-two to twenty-one in the Blue Jackets’ favor. The Red Wings’ next game will be Saturday afternoon at the Pepsi Center in Denver, facing down their archrivals, the Colorado Avalanche.

Trade deadline acquisition Jiri Slegr, after being a “”21 in the plus/minus rating with Atlanta, was rated a +2 in his first game with his new team…… The Columbus players will wear Brittanie Cecil’s initials on their helmets for the rest of the season. Visiting teams to Nationwide Arena will do likewise, so as to honor the little girl and her family.

Leaving Home For Awhile

Goals by Brett Hull and Chris Chelios, along with a strong goaltending effort by Manny Legace, were not enough to inspire the Red Wings in their last home game before March 6, and the Columbus Blue Jackets got their first-ever victory at Joe Louis Arena, 3-2.

The Blue Jackets opened the scoring four minutes into the game. Jiri Fischer was not able to get the puck out of Detroit’s zone, and Ray Whitney was able to grab it up and fire on the net from the left side of the ice. The puck deflected off the skate of Chris Chelios and past Manny Legace for the goal.

Detroit came back with some offensive pressure after this, and the “Two Young Kids and an Old Goat Line,” as Brett Hull refers to himself and linemates Boyd Devereaux and Pavel Datsyuk, was especially hard for Columbus to handle. The pressure finally paid off for the Red Wings with just over seven minutes left in the first. Datsyuk got past the Blue Jackets’ defensemen to carry the puck around the net, then sent a sharp pass right across the goal crease to Brett Hull, who had his stick on the ice in perfect position to direct the puck into the net past goaltender Marc Denis.

Columbus controlled the play for most of the second period, causing Legace to make some big saves to keep the score tied. In spite of Legace’s efforts, the Blue Jackets regained the lead midway through the period, just as a tripping penalty to Steve Duchesne expired. Deron Quint took a shot from the right side, using one of his own teammates as a screen. The puck hit Legace and rolled off his chest, barely crossing the goalline before he could get his glove over it.

Chelios brought the Red Wings back to an even score a few minutes later. Kirk Maltby fired a hard shot from the blue line, and the rebound came to Chelios at the right point. The rising shot barely missed bouncing off Darren McCarty, screening Denis, and the puck went into the top corner of the net.

The Blue Jackets scored again only nineteen seconds into the third period, once again just as a penalty was expiring. David Vyborny shot the puck from the left side, and it went into the net over Legace’s shoulder.

Columbus tightened up to protect their fragile lead through the rest of the game. Detroit pulled Legace from the net for the sixth skater with just over a minute left to play, and they wound up having the last twenty-four seconds of the game as a six-on-four power play when Lyle Odelein was penalized for cross-checking, but Denis made a number of acrobatic saves and kept the puck out of the net.

Legace stopped twenty-two of twenty-five shots, while Denis stopped thirty-three of the thirty-five shots he faced. The Red Wings’ next game is Saturday night in Ottawa.

Steve Yzerman‘s recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery is progressing as expected. Yzerman expects to play with the Red Wings next week at Montreal and Minnesota before going to Salt Lake City to play for Team Canada in the Olympics.

Plenty of Goals For All!

Even with Steve Yzerman out of the game with a badly bruised foot for a projected one to two weeks, the Red Wings still have plenty of offense and defense to go around. The Columbus Blue Jackets learned this the hard way, going down 5-1.

Mathieu Dandenault took an early lead for his team 7:02 into the first period. Lyle Odelein sent the puck around his own net trying to keep it away from the Red Wings, but Dandenault got to it and shot it towards the net. The puck bounced off a Columbus defenseman’s skate, off the back boards, and straight back to Dandenault’s stick. He was then able to slide the puck under goaltender Marc Denis.

The Blue Jackets tied up the game just a few moments later. Grant Marshall shot the puck at Manny Legace from the right point. Legace flopped down to blocked the shot, but the rebound slipped away, and Michael Sillinger was able to snatch it up and flip the puck into the net.

Luc Robitaille regained the lead for the Red Wings six and a half minutes before the end of the period, while Rostislav Klesla was serving a minor penalty for elbowing. Brendan Shanahan put the puck on the net, and Tomas Holmstrom tried to tip it in, but the puck came free to Robitaille at the left side, and he sent it into the net behind Denis.

The second period was all downhill for the Blue Jackets, as the Red Wings scored twice to increase their lead. Just over five minutes in, Brett Hull and Pavel Datsyuk got a two-on-one breakaway. Hull passed left to Datsyuk, and Datsyuk faked to the left to lure Denis, then stuffed the puck in on the right side.

Columbus’s woes increased when Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre was sent to the penalty box for tripping. Lidstrom carried the puck in front of the net and left the pass for Shanahan, and Shanahan sent a quick wrist shot flying past Denis to become the first Red Wing to reach the twenty goal mark this season, making this the fourteenth consecutive season in which he has scored twenty or more goals.

The Red Wings essentially wrapped up the game early in the third period, in the last second of a penalty to Lyle Odelein carried over from the end of the second period. Lidstrom fired a hard shot from the blue line, and rookie Sean Avery tipped it into the net, to score his first NHL goal.

Columbus attempted to play harder and score again, but the Detroit defense was able to keep them away from the net, and Legace stopped any shots which came near him. The game ended with Legace having stopped twenty-seven of twnety-eight shots, and Denis having stopped twenty-eight of the thirty-three he was bombarded with.

The Red Wings will next travel south to Nashville to face the Predators on Friday night.

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