TUESDAY, 7:30 P.M.
BLUE JACKETS VS. PENGUINS
WATCH: Ryan Johansen's empty net goal | CLICK TO WATCH
GAME AUDIO: GAME. SET. MATCH! Joey secures the W with an empty netter. | LISTEN
WATCH: Cam Atkinson 3rd period goal | CLICK TO WATCH
LISTEN: Cam Atkinson gives us the lead in the third! | LISTEN
WATCH: Second period highlights | CLICK TO WATCH
SECOND PERIOD ANALYSIS: The Blue Jackets got things started with the first two goals of the game, but the Red Wings have answered with two at even strength and we've got a 2-2 tie on our hands after two periods in Columbus. It's been a physical, fast-paced hockey game so far and both teams clearly understand what's at stake; the little plays are magnified and every play has been done with pace and vigor. That's playoff-style hockey and we're going to see more of it in the third period. How about Gustav Nyquist, though? He's got two goals tonight, giving him 25 on the season, keeping the NHL's first star of the week on some kind of tear. The Blue Jackets' forechecking game slipped a bit in the latter half of the second period, and that's something they'll look to re-establish in the third.
WATCH: First period highlights | CLICK TO WATCH
GAME AUDIO: Brandon Dubinsky talks to Bob McElligott at the intermission. | LISTEN
FIRST PERIOD ANALYSIS: Great start for the Blue Jackets tonight, and they have two (!) power play goals in the first period against Detroit. They've made the Red Wings pay for a couple of careless penalties, which is what they need their power play to do down the stretch to help them in their drive to the playoffs. Ryan Johansen made it happen on the Jackets' first goal, driving the net and finishing his own rebound for a 1-0 lead at 1:37 of the opening period. On a 4-on-3 power play, Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson had the Red Wings outnumbered along the goal line, and Dubinsky's centering pass deflected off Dan DeKeyser and in. The Red Wings got one back later in the period courtesy of the red-hot Gustav Nyquist, and that's where we stand after 20 minutes at Nationwide.
WATCH: Brandon Dubinsky 1st period PP goal | CLICK TO WATCH
GAME AUDIO: DUBI DUBI DOOOOOOO!! Dubinsky scores on the PP and we're up in the first 2-1! | LISTEN
WATCH: Ryan Johansen's 1st period PP goal | CLICK TO WATCH
GAME AUDIO: Joey nets his 28th of the season and it's a first period PP goal for the Jackets! | LISTEN
WATCH: NBC Sports Network's Brian Engblom discusses the CBJ with broadcaster Jeff Rimer. | CLICK TO WATCH
WATCH: Todd Richards pre-game. | CLICK TO WATCH
WATCH: Nick Schultz pre-game. | CLICK TO WATCH
WATCH: Ryan Johansen pre-game. | CLICK TO WATCH
TONIGHT'S LINEUP: Here are the Jackets' forward lines and defense pairs for tonight's game against Detroit... (line combos subject to change, but you already knew that)
Jenner - Johansen - Horton
Calvert - Dubinsky - Atkinson
Umberger - Anisimov - Foligno
MacKenzie - Letestu - Comeau
Johnson - Prout
Tyutin - Wisniewski
Schultz - Savard
READ: 5 Questions with John Davidson | CLICK TO READ
MORNING SKATE: In what has become a long stretch of must-win games, the Blue Jackets face another one on Tuesday night against Detroit. The Jackets will hold an optional morning skate at Nationwide Arena, and we'll have complete coverage for you here at Game Day Central. Also, look for lineup changes, thoughts on the match-up against the Red Wings, storylines from the other side and an interview with coach Todd Richards. Stay tuned to this page for the latest!
While the Blue Jackets' power play has garnered much of the attention lately, Richards said he is considering making lineup changes for Tuesday's game against Detroit. He felt the Jackets lacked energy in a lackluster loss to the Islanders on Sunday, and it's possible that Corey Tropp or Jared Boll could get into the lineup.
On defense, the pairings are expected to remain unchanged from Sunday. Fedor Tyutin was granted a maintenance day from practice on Monday.
Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start in goal for the Blue Jackets.
The Red Wings hold a slight edge on one of the East's two wild card spots, but there are four teams still alive for two playoff berths and it's going to make for a thrilling finish.
Along the way, there are going to be serveral "huge" games and Tuesday's game between the Jackets and Red Wings definitely falls into that category. With a win, Columbus can close within a point of the Red Wings and potentially leap frog Toronto into one of the wild card positions.
But that's all secondary for the Jackets, who are coming off a 2-0 loss to the Islanders on Sunday and are battling power play woes as well as offensive struggles at 5-on-5. Their sole focus is this game against Detroit, a team they just saw two weeks ago at Nationwide Arena but one that's playing much better now than it had been.
How about Gustav Nyquist? The kid has been on fire lately and was recently named the NHL's First Star of the Week, a day after completing a ridiculous goal-scoring weekend against the Minnesota Wild. He scored six goals last week and has been a big reason why the Red Wings are back in a playoff spot despite decimating injuries up and down their lineup.
VS. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
FRIDAY, 7 P.M.