Blue Jackets Blank Red Wings in Home-and-Home Opener

Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets earned his first career shutout Saturday afternoon, leading his team to a 3-0 win over the visiting Detroit Red Wings in the first game of a weekend home-and-home series between the two clubs.

Bobrovsky stopped 30 shots in the effort, while counterpart Jonas Gustavsson made 21 saves on 24 shots against.

Cam Atkinson opened the game’s scoring with 6:14 left in the first period off a botched play behind the net by Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall. Kronwall attempted to complete a pass but whiffed on it as Matt Calvert pressured him on the forecheck. Calvert took the puck and sent it out to Atkinson all alone in front of the net for a shot past Gustavsson.

Jack Johnson made it 2-0 at 5:12 of the second period when his blast from up high found its way through traffic and past Gustavsson for a power play goal.

Another botched play behind the net gave the Blue Jackets their third goal. Brendan Smith passed it along the end boards to Kyle Quincey but the puck bounced off the back of Quincey’s skate and right to Ryan Johansen, who sent it out to Nick Foligno to snap past Gustavsson.

Jared Boll thought he had made it 4-0 early in the third period but his apparent goal was waived off as it was ruled that Gustavsson had control of the puck on a delayed penalty to Detroit.

The two teams wrap up their home-and-home series on Sunday in Detroit.

TGTW: Red Wings Atop Central After Week Three

The Games That Weren’t is one of many projects simulating the games lost by the NHL lockout. In the absence of actual games to write about, I’ll be checking in periodically on the fictional Red Wings’ season.

The Detroit Red Wings rode a three-game winning streak into the third week of the NHL schedule and extended it on Monday with a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Livonia-native Ryan Kesler opened the game’s scoring at 3:42 of the first period but a pair of goals just 1:38 apart were enough for the Red Wings to get the win.  Pavel Datsyuk‘s first of the season came with 6:45 left in the opening period and Johan Franzen‘s first of the year came with 5:07 remaining.

Jimmy Howard made 26 saves on 27 shots in the effort, while Vancouver’s Cory Schneider stopped 25 of 27 chances.

The Red Wings’ winning streak came to an end the next night in Columbus.  The Blue Jackets’ win briefly pulled them into first place in the Central Division.

Jack Johnson opened the scoring with 11 seconds left in the first period and Justin Abdelkader replied at 3:11 of the second.  Nick Foligno‘s shorthanded marker and 6:27 of the third put the Jackets back out in front and Derrick Brassard added another at 9:46.  Steve Mason shut the door on the Wings, stopping 23 of 24 shots while Howard made 22 saves on 25 Columbus chances.

Howard rebounded on Friday with a 22-save shutout of the San Jose Sharks as the Red Wings picked up a 2-0 win.  Mikael Samuelsson scored the game’s opening goal at 4:38 of the second period, with former Red Wing Brad Stuart in the penalty box.  Pavel Datsyuk added an insurance marker at 1:02 of the third.

To close out the week on Saturday, the Red Wings picked up a 4-2 win in their first visit back to Winnipeg since the Atlanta Thrashers relocated there.

Abdelkader opened the scoring at 3:48 of the first period, Kyle Quincey had a pair of goals, and team leading scorer Valtteri Filppula also scored.  Evander Kane and Alexei Ponikarovski scored for the Jets.  Howard stopped 23 of 25 while Ondrej Pavelec made 14 saves on 18 shots against.

After three weeks, Detroit sits atop the Central Division, three points up on the Blue Jackets, who have two games in hand.  Howard’s 1.64 goals-against average is second in the league, just 0.02 back of Buffalo’s Ryan Miller.  His two shutouts are tied for the league lead.

Franzen Scores Twice to Lead Red Wings to First Win of Season

Johan Franzen scored two third period goals to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators for their first win of the 2008-09 season.

The Red Wings trailed the Senators 2-1 entering the game’s third period. With 8:44 left in the game’s final frame, Franzen took advantage of a bad Ottawa line change to break down the left wing all alone. He moved to the left faceoff circle and and snapped a shot past goalie Martin Gerber to the far corner of the net.

Franzen scored again with 1:17 remaining, bouncing a wrister from the right wing off of defenseman Filip Kuba. Gerber got a piece of it before it rolled off the far post and into the net.

The Senators had opened the game’s scoring just 6:22 into the game.

With Ottawa on a two-man advanage Alexandre Picard passed off to Kuba and got the puck back at the top of the right faceoff circle for a slapper past Detroit netminder Chris Osgood.

Valtteri Filppula evened things up 4:41 later with a wrister from the left wing on a short three-on-two.

Nick Foligno scored with 1:59 left in the second period to put the Senators back in front, jumping between Filppula and Niklas Kronwall, breaking through to go in alone on Osgood and put it past him.

The Red Wings finished the night scoreless after five power play tries. Ottawa scored once in their five chances with the extra attacker.

Osgood made twenty saves on 22 shots while Gerber stopped 38 of 41 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Monday when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes.


Derek Meech and Kyle Quincey were healthy scratches for the second straight game. Quincey was placed on waivers earlier in the day.