Shorthanded Red Wings Fall to Blue Jackets

The Detroit Red Wings were without two of their top three forwards and two of their top four defensemen Tuesday night and the Columbus Blue Jackets took advantage, with their top player scoring all three of the team’s goal in a 3-2 overtime win.

The Red Wings started the game short a man due to the suspensions of Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk and the injury of Brad Stuart. They then lost Henrik Zetterberg to back spasms with about 5:00 left in the first period.

Rick Nash scored on the power play, while shorthanded, and during the four-on-four overtime to carry his team to the win. Detroit got goals from Marian Hossa and Brett Lebda.

Hossa opened the game’s scoring on a power play at 8:55 of the first period, banging home the rebound of a Niklas Kronwall shot from the blue line that missed the Columbus net.

Nash tied the game with 8:55 left in the second period, scoring a shorthanded goal on a breakaway after a giveaway by Derek Meech.

Lebda put the Wings in front again 29 seconds later, hesitating at the blue line to let a screen form in front of goalie Steve Mason before blasting a shot over his shoulder.

Nash’s power play goal evened things up less than two minutes after that as he scored on a seemingly-harmless shot from along the goal line that deflected off of Brian Rafalski before bouncing off of netminder Chris Osgood‘s back and in.

The game-winning goal came 3:27 into OT when a bouncing puck came to Nash at the side of the net and he put it in behind Osgood.

Osgood finished the night with 20 saves on 23 shots against. Mason made 21 saves on the same number of shots.

Red Wings – Blue Jackets Pregame Notes

It’s the beginning of the end of the All-Star mess. Once this game’s out of the way the psuedo-suspension of Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk will be over and maybe we can talk about something else.

Obviously those two are out tonight. Brad Stuart is also out, recovering from the crash into the boards he suffered in Phoenix. Johan Franzen is expected to be back in the lineup so with Chris Chelios and Derek Meetch on the blue line that leaves the Wings down just one man, going with 17 skaters.

Chris Osgood gets the start in net and he’s pretty p*ssed about being without Datsyuk and Lidstrom.

“In the salary-cap era, the league is built for different teams to win every year, so it wouldn’t be good if we won again, would it?” Osgood says. “You see a lot of commercials with us in it? Most of it is Pittsburgh scoring on us (in the Final) and we’re the team that won. I think we’re the New York Yankees of the N.H.L. People dislike us. We have our fans, but there probably are a lot of people that love to see us lose and love to see us get guys suspended. We look at that as a nice challenge.”

Expect him to be “suspended” when the league determines he needs extra time to rest his tongue or something like that.

Columbus gets to have Steve Mason start in net, even though he skipped out on the YoungStars game on Saturday. Colin Campbell says that’s not even a real game, as opposed to the uber-important ASG in which no defense is played and there is no hitting.

Conklin, Datsyuk Lead Red Wings Past Blue Jackets

Ty Conklin stopped all 23 shots he faced and Pavel Datsyuk played a part in all three Detroit goals Tuesday night as the pair carried the Red Wings to a 3-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The shutout was Conklin’s fourth of the season and second in a row at home. All four have come at Joe Louis Arena.

Conklin’s biggest stop of the night came about nine minutes into the game, when he stretched across the crease to knock down a Michael Peca shot that looked like it was going into the open side of the net.

“That was basically a goal into an empty net and he made an unbelievable save,” Detroit sniper Marian Hossa said. “The game could have gone either way… He saved a huge goal and then we started playing well a little after that.”

Datsyuk scored the game’s first goal on a Red Wings’ power play 3:45 into the third period. The puck squirted free after a scramble at the crease and Datsyuk jumped up to put it back on net and in.

Just 2:14 later Hossa snapped a shot past Columbus netminder Steve Mason on another power play, giving Datsyuk his second point of the night.

Henrik Zetterberg added an empty-net goal with 30 seconds remaining in the game. Datsyuk stole the puck at the Detroit blue line but lost his stick in the process, then kicked the puck up to Zetterberg, earning him his second assist and third point.

Detroit’s Chris Chelios played in his 880th career win, breaking a tie with Scott Stevens for most all-time.

Red Wings – Blue Jackets Pregame Notes

The Red Wings ride their three-game winning streak into a matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.

After Chris Osgood‘s successful return to the ice on Saturday, Ty Conklin gets the start in net for Detroit as coach Mike Babcock attempts to start a goalie rotation. Osgood is slated to get the nod on Thursday against Dallas.

Chris Chelios and Brett Lebda will be the Wings’ third defensive pair, with Andreas Lilja and Derek Meech coming out of the lineup.

The Blue Jackets will get winger Jared Boll back into their lineup but will be missing Raffi Torres. Rookie Steve Mason is expected to start in net.