COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Detroit coach Mike Babcock is already thinking about how his team needs to play in the postseason.
Tomas Holmstrom scored two power-play goals and Chris Osgood stopped 26 shots for his 42nd career shutout as the Red Wings beat the Blue Jackets 4-0 Wednesday night.
"All four goals, someone was right in the goalie's face," Babcock said. "That's what you want and that's what you have to do at playoff time to beat good goalies."
Mark Mowers and Mathieu Schneider also scored for the Western Conference-leading Red Wings, who won their third straight and improved to 5-0 against Columbus this season.
"Our last four games have been our best string of games in awhile," said Osgood, who stopped both Nikolai Zherdev and Rick Nash from close range in a scoreless opening period. "We're playing a lot better."
Pavel Datsyuk and Mikael Samuelsson each had two assists for Detroit, which has outscored the Blue Jackets 25-7 - including 6-0 and 6-2 wins at Nationwide Arena.
The Blue Jackets, winners of four of their last five games overall, had their four-game home winning streak snapped.
"I hope tonight was an off night," Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said. "We've been playing well and a win over Detroit would have been huge."
Columbus played stretches of undisciplined hockey, as Detroit had a 20-5 shooting advantage in the second period. The league's best power-play unit went 1-for-4 with the man advantage in the period, and 2-for-7 for the game.
"In the second they had some power plays and they took advantage," Gallant said. "That was the difference in the game. After the first period, they just took it to us."
With Jody Shelley in the box for roughing Chris Chelios, defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom stole Trevor Letowski's clearing attempt to keep the play in Columbus' zone. Moments later, Jason Williams fired a shot from the point that was redirected by Holmstrom at 7:06 to make it 1-0 and give the Red Wings a power-play goal for the ninth straight game.
"We got the calls in the second," said Holmstrom, who has 16 goals. "We had the power plays and got it going with them."
Lidstrom, who entered with 22 points in his last 19 games, was involved in Detroit's next goal, seconds after a Red Wings power play had expired. Mowers redirected Lidstrom's point shot past goalie Pascal Leclaire to make it 2-0 at 18:09.
"Every time I go out there I try to keep it simple," Mowers said. "Sometimes someone upstairs is looking out for you and knocks one off your pants and in."
Holmstrom had a power-play goal on a one-timer from close range to make it 3-0 at 4:52 of the third period. Datsyuk, who set up Holmstrom's second goal, has 10 points in his last five games for a team-leading 55 points.
Holmstrom still wasn't convinced the game was out of reach.
"We knew they had been playing really good lately," he said. "We had to show up and we did."
Schneider closed out the scoring with another shot from the point at 18:13.
Leclaire finished with 37 saves for Columbus, which was 0-for-7 on the power play.
The Blue Jackets failed to convert four power-play chances in the first period, including a 1:17 two-man advantage.
"It was a pretty comfortable game," Mowers said. "Even when it was 0-0, our penalty killers came up big and Ozzie obviously made a couple of huge saves at key points in the game."
Notes: Columbus captain Adam Foote returned to the lineup after missing the last nine games with a hip injury. ... Blue Jackets C Mark Hartigan was recalled from Syracuse of the AHL to replace third-line center Mike Rupp, who fractured his left ankle Monday against the Rangers. ... First-year Detroit coach Mike Babcock, who also coached Anaheim from 2002-2005, won his 100th career game. ... Red Wings LW Henrik Zetterberg, the teams' second-leading scorer with 49-points, was scratched with an injured hip, suffered Monday in practice. ... LW Rick Nash, who entered with 12 goals in his last 15 games, had his nine-game points streak, which tied a franchise record, snapped. ... Detroit is 5-1 in its last six road games.
|PPG - Tomas Holmstrom (15) ASST: Jason Williams (26), Pavel Datsyuk (36)|
1 - 0 DET
|Mark Mowers (2) ASST: Nicklas Lidstrom (33)|
2 - 0 DET
|PPG - Tomas Holmstrom (16) ASST: Pavel Datsyuk (37), Mikael Samuelsson (14)|
3 - 0 DET
|Mathieu Schneider (13) ASST: Mikael Samuelsson (15)|
4 - 0 DET
|Andreas Lilja Hooking|
|Chris Chelios Interference against Jaroslav Balastik|
|Steven Goertzen Holding|
|Mark Mowers Hooking against Steven Goertzen|
|Kris Draper Hooking against Rick Nash|
|Mark Hartigan Hooking|
|Jody Shelley Roughing against Chris Chelios|
|Adam Foote Hooking against Pavel Datsyuk|
|Rick Nash Boarding against Johan Franzen|
|Andreas Lilja Tripping|
|Duvie Westcott Tripping against Jason Williams|
|Pavel Datsyuk Holding|
|David Vyborny Hooking against Nicklas Lidstrom|
|Jan Hrdina Tripping against Pavel Datsyuk|
|Pavel Datsyuk Holding against Jan Hrdina|
|Daniel Cleary Hi-sticking against Mark Hartigan|