The last time the Detroit Red Wings had faced the Blue Jackets, they blew a three-goal third-period lead to fall to Columbus in the shootout. On Friday night, they lost a late lead again but this time they held on to pick up the win in the tiebreaker on a goal by Tomas Holmstrom.
Holmstrom scored the only goal of the shootout, taking Detroit’s shot in the fifth round.
Without usual shooters Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, the latter having left the game with an “upper body injury,” the Red Wings relied on Jason Williams, Steve Yzerman, Robert Lang and Mikael Samuelsson to take their first four shots.
Columbus forced overtime when Nash completed his first career hat-trick with 33 seconds remaining and goalie Marc Denis on the bench for an extra attacker. Nash intercepted a clearing pass in the slot and threw it back past Detroit netminder Manny Legace, who didn’t even see the shot.
Detroit had opened the scoring on a goal by Samuelsson at 1:01 of the first but Columbus tied it with 1:47 remaining in that period on Nash’s first of the night, a power play goal.
Niklas Kronwall scored his first of the season on a Detroit power play at 4:14 of the second period to put the Red Wings back in front. They extended their lead with goals by Brendan Shanahan at 7:51 and Williams at 9:18 before the Blue Jackets came back.
With 8:58 remaining in the middle period, Hartigan scored. Dan Fritsche added another goal 5:40 later to pull Columbus to within one.
Nash’s second of the night at 4:21 of the third tied the game at four until Kris Draper pulled Detroit back into the lead at 9:05.
Each team went one-for-three on the power play in the high-scoring matchup.
Legace made 18 saves while facing 23 shots and Denis stopped 31 of the 36 shots that he faced.
The Red Wings and Blue Jackets will meet again Saturday night in Columbus in the second game of their home-and-home series.
Henrik Zetterberg left the game late in the second period with an undisclosed “upper body injury.” He was taken to Detroit Medical Center for precautionary examination.