8:45 P.M. -- SECOND PERIOD ANALYSIS: Scratch the previous update. That was the Blue Jackets' strongest 20 minutes of the season, and they deservedly lead 3-1 over Detroit after two periods here at Nationwide Arena. There was a scary moment as James Wisniewski crashed hard into the end boards, back first...he was on the ice and required medical attention, but eventually skated off with help from his teammates and will not return tonight. Keep James in your thoughts tonight, everyone. Very concerning. The Blue Jackets played a very competitive, hard-nosed second period and refused to let the Red Wings garner any momentum. Artem Anisimov contributed two sweet goals in the second frame: the first was a top-shelf, short side snap shot that caught Howard by surprise to give Columbus a 2-1 lead. Later in the period, the Blue Jackets put on a flurry inside the Detroit end and it culminated in another Anisimov tally. John Moore zipped a gorgeous cross-zone pass right on Anisimov's tape, and one dangle later, he deposited it behind Howard to give Columbus a two-goal lead. There are 20 minutes to be played here, and the Blue Jackets need more of what they did in the second period to come out victorious tonight.
7:45 P.M. -- FIRST PERIOD ANALYSIS: The Blue Jackets may have allowed the first goal, but this may have been one of their best first periods to date. They killed off two Detroit power plays with some quality execution and shot-blocking, and the only puck to get by Steve Mason was a point-blank rebound attempt by Johan Franzen. Aside from that, the Blue Jackets held steady and got a big lift from their power play unit. Fedor Tyutin made a nice read and carried the puck around the net, sending a perfect pass to James Wisniewski to uncork a one-timer through heavy traffic supplied by RJ Umberger. The shot beat Howard cleanly over his stick side shoulder, tying this game at 1-1 with 1:43 left in the period. It's clear the Blue Jackets are trying to get pucks in behind the Red Wings defense, finish their checks and make Detroit come 200 feet up the ice.
11:30 A.M. -- Get the lowdown on the Red Wings with today's game day preview: Read it!
11:00 A.M. -- The Red Wings are slated to go with Jimmy Howard in goal tonight against the Blue Jackets. He picked up the win last night over St. Louis, and is the only goalie to start a game for Detroit this season.
10:20 A.M. -- Through the CBJ lens at today's morning skate:
10:05 A.M. -- Columbus will use the same lineup as Thursday night's game. Here are the lines and pairings they're skating in today:
Brassard - Dubinsky - Foligno
Umberger - Anisimov - Dorsett
Prospal - Johansen - Audy-Marchessault
MacKenzie - Letestu - Boll
Moore - Wisniewski
Tyutin - Savard
Erixon - Johnson
9:55 A.M. -- The Blue Jackets have taken the ice for today's morning skate...and it appears that all healthy players are present and accounted for. Steve Mason appears to be getting the start tonight vs. the Red Wings, and it's hard to argue after a strong effort in relief on Thursday.
9:40 A.M. -- We want to welcome all of our season ticket holders who are taking in today's morning skate! Hope you have a good time.
9:30 A.M. -- It's only been about 48 hours since we last convened here, but good morning and a very happy game day to you all. There are few things as comforting as the smell of fresh ice being cut at Nationwide Arena, and that's what I'm taking in here just before the Blue Jackets hit the ice for their fifth morning skate of the year in this building.
Since we last met, the Blue Jackets dropped a 4-1 decision at home to the Blues and got behind 3-0 just 13 minutes into the game. Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled for the first time this season, but Steve Mason stepped in and put forth a perfect effort in relief. Where that leaves the goaltending decision for tonight is anyone's guess, but I surmise we will know more here in the next hour or so.
While we get prepped for the skate to start, let's check out the highlights from Thursday's game against St. Louis: