The Blue Jackets talked earlier this week about the need to get more shots to the net, crowd the crease and take advantage of second and third opportunities. In tonight’s 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena, those elements were present at times but not enough to help the Blue Jackets climb out of an early 2-0 hole.
Detroit tallied three power-play goals on the night – two from winger Johan Franzen in the first period – to jump out to a two-goal lead before 20 minutes had elapsed. The Blue Jackets answered quickly thanks to a rebound goal from Derick Brassard that was set up by a heady play from defenseman Aaron Johnson.
There was some palpable momentum on the Blue Jackets’ side going into the first intermission, but that was quickly erased when the puck dropped on the second period. Pavel Datsyuk was his usual slippery self in burying Detroit’s third goal just 27 seconds into the middle frame, thus nullifying a lot of the energy the Blue Jackets had built up. Johnson had a hand in bringing Columbus one goal closer, registering his first goal of the season on the power play at the 1:42 mark of the third period.
Alas, the one-goal deficit did not last long. Consecutive minor penalties to Fedor Tyutin (interference) and Johnson (delay of game) handed the Red Wings a two-man advantage six minutes in. That’s one setting in which no team wants to end up – especially against a team as skilled as Detroit. Columbus looked to have the inside track on killing the 5-on-3, thanks to a tremendous efforts from Samuel Pahlsson and Derek Dorsett.
One breakdown at the tail end of the power play ended up costing the Blue Jackets, as Nicklas Lidstrom jumped into the slot and ripped a slap shot over Steve Mason’s blocker for a 4-2 lead. In the end, the difference tonight was three power-play goals from the Red Wings, who got an empty-net goal from Valtteri Filppula with 1:27 remaining in the game.
For the Blue Jackets, it’s off to Ottawa to take on the Senators tomorrow night at Scotiabank Place. Columbus (0-6-1) will be looking to avoid going winless in eight games to start a season for the first time in franchise history.
Without a doubt, it’s Lidstrom’s power-play goal that came at 7:46 of the third period. The Blue Jackets had come out hard in the third period looking to erase a two-goal deficit, and despite going down two men, killed off the majority of Detroit’s extended power play.
All it took was a split second breakdown, and the Red Wings took control of the puck at the right wall after a scramble in front of the net. Lidstrom made his way right to the prime scoring area and unleashed a wicked shot with Mason trying to get back into the net. That goal made it a 4-2 lead for the Red Wings and one they would not relinquish.
-While it’s unfair to call it a “breakout” game for Johnson, he was by far one of the most effective Blue Jackets on the ice tonight. He played 25:21 altogether – with 3:53 of that coming on the power play - and recorded his first multi-point game of the season. His power-play goal marked the first time he lit the lamp since Mar. 21, 2010 as a member of the Edmonton Oilers. The multi-point effort (one goal, one assist) was his first since Mar. 15, 2010 against the Blue Jackets.
-Despite losing tonight’s game, the Blue Jackets became the first team to outshoot the Red Wings in five games this season. Entering tonight, the Red Wings were outshooting opponents 156-100 and had the upper hand in that category in each of their first four games.
-Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash did not register a shot on goal in this game, a rarity for No. 61, but he did pick up an assist on Brassard’s goal in the first period. In 50 career games against the Red Wings, Nash has record 23-20-43. He also has points in five of the first seven games this season.
-Columbus is now 17-37-10 all-time against Detroit, including a 7-22-3 mark at Joe Louis Arena.
-Ryan Johansen was a noticeable player tonight for the Blue Jackets. He played a season-high 11:21 while firing three shots on goal in the game. Johansen displayed his smooth skating and puck-protection skills on a second-period drive to the net with the Red Wings’ Kronwall draped all over him.
-What a pickup Vinny Prospal has been for the Blue Jackets. He’s quickly become a leader of the club both on and off the ice, and picked up another assist tonight. He has points in four of the last five games after picking up an assist on Johnson’s goal. He ranks second on the team in points with 3-3-6 in seven games. He has 3-9-12 in 16 career games against Detroit.
at Ottawa Senators
Saturday, 7 p.m. Scotiabank Place | Ottawa, ONT
TV: Fox Sports Ohio (HD)
Radio: 97.1 The Fan & BlueJackets.com