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GAME DAY: vs. Detroit

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

  Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Detroit Red Wings
RECORDS - CBJ: 24-45-7 (Home: 14-21-3), DET: 46-25-5 (Road: 16-20-3)
WHEN: Mar. 28, 2012 - 7:30 p.m.   |   WHERE: Nationwide Arena

WATCH:
NBC Sports  |  LISTEN: 97.1 FM & BlueJackets.com
GAME NOTES - READ THE GAME DAY BLOG


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Following a 7-2 loss to the Red Wings on Monday night in Detroit, Blue Jackets interim head coach Todd Richards said he hopes his team does not lack motivation for a much better effort tonight. “Out-worked, out-hustled, out-skated” were just a few of the words he used to describe a disappointing game that saw Columbus fall behind 4-0 before the first period was 10 minutes old – while making it clear he wasn’t having any fun watching it unfold.

The Red Wings took advantage of the Blue Jackets’ miscues and, like all good teams do, made their own breaks and drew Columbus into several power-play opportunities. Goaltender Ty Conklin faced just four shots on goal in the first 20 minutes of play, and was not strongly tested until the third period when the Blue Jackets tallied both of their goals.

With a 48-hour turnaround between games, tonight’s contest presents an opportunity for Columbus to put the previous game in the rearview mirror and get to work on correcting their mistakes.

Despite missing several key components of their lineup on-and-off throughout the year, the Red Wings have remained near the top of the Central Division and are currently fighting with the Nashville Predators for the fourth seed in the West – guaranteeing home-ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The win on Monday temporarily put Detroit in fourth place, but the Predators had an important game last night against the St. Louis Blues that could help them re-obtain home ice.

Johan Franzen is expected to return to the Red Wings lineup this evening, and he skated on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi at practice on Tuesday. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson and goalie Jimmy Howard will travel with the team to Columbus and one (if not both) could be ready to play against the Blue Jackets, but head coach Mike Babcock wants to see them take one final tune-up skate.

G
Nash (27) Franzen (26)
A
Prospal (35) Zetterberg (45)
PTS
Nash (52) Zetterberg (66)
PIM
Dorsett (210) Bertuzzi (62)
+/-
MacKenzie (+4) Lidstrom (+27)
W/L
Mason (14-26-3)
Howard (33-15-3)
GAA
Sanford (2.60) Howard (2.15)
SVP
Sanford (.911) Howard (.920)
• The Blue Jackets have won two of the their last five games after snapping a four-game winless skid with a shootout win Mar. 18 at Calgary. Columbus has gone 11-13-1 the last 25 games after posting a 4-15-2 mark the previous 21 outings. Tonight’s game is the fourth home game in a span which has the Jackets playing five of six games at home. Following tonight’s contest, the club will host Florida (Friday).

•Tonight marks the final meetings of the season between the Blue Jackets and Red Wings. Columbus is 18-39-11 all-time against Detroit, including a 11-16-7 mark at Nationwide Arena.


NIKLAS KRONWALL

 
D - #55
  14 GOALS
  21 ASSISTS
  35 POINTS




• Kronwall is best-known for his thunderous body checks and rugged-yet-skilled style of play, but he is currently having a career year in the goal-scoring department with 14 tallies. He picked up a pair of assists in Monday’s game vs. Columbus and is now back with regular defense partner Brad Stuart.


D Radek Martinek (concussion); out for the season
LW Kristian Huselius (lower body); indefinitely
D Marc Methot (jaw); indefinitely
D Fedor Tyutin (hand); indefinitely
D James Wisniewski (upper body); indefinitely
G Curtis Sanford (lower body); indefinitely

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