BLUE JACKETS (9-12-4) 3, RED WINGS (12-9-4)
NATIONWIDE ARENA | COLUMBUS, OH
Let's just get this out of the way: the Blue Jackets clinched their first season series win over the Red Wings in franchise history this afternoon, and they did so by playing the high-energy "team" game prevalent in what's now a four-game winning streak.
POST GAME: JACKETS BLANK DETROIT
Sergei Bobrovsky - now 5-1-1 in his last seven appearances - made 29 saves to secure his first career NHL shutout in his 99th start. The 24-year-old netminder has been the backbone of the Blue Jackets' recent success, and as coach Todd Richards has said, Bobrovsky is making the saves he needs to make as well as some that he has no business making.
The Blue Jackets have followed a similar formula in their four consecutive victories: they've managed the puck well, have been strong on special teams (in particular the penalty kill), and have received quality goaltending from Bobrovsky -- with that mix of ingredients, the results aren't far off and in this case, they've helped Columbus to its longest win streak of the season and longest since they won four straight last season.
In this game, it became clear fairly early that the Red Wings weren't big fans of their struggles against the Blue Jackets this season.
Columbus was its typical forechecking self, putting pressure on the Detroit defense and creating turnovers with foot speed and smart puck decisions. Cam Atkinson's third goal of the season got things started at 13:46 of the first period, slamming home a Matt Calvertcentering pass after Niklas Kronwall provided a gift behind the net.
Jack Johnson added his third of the year on the power play early in the second period, one-timing a Derick Brassarddrop pass over Jonas Gustavsson's shoulder for a 2-0 Blue Jackets advantage. Just 83 seconds later, Ryan Johansen pounced on another Red Wings miscue behind the net, centering to Nick Foligno who jammed in his third of the season to push it to a three-goal bulge.
The Red Wings were unable to get any consistency going in the game, and the Blue Jackets made them come the length of the ice pretty much all afternoon. The puck spent a lot of time in the Detroit end, and when it was there, the Blue Jackets were all around it.
The Foligno goal was a killer for the Red Wings, who needed to follow up the Johnson goal with a good shift to get back into the game. They got careless with the puck on a rim-around to exit the zone, and it lay flat for Johansen to hit Foligno right in front of Gustavsson. At 3-0, Mike Babcock called his timeout to straighten out his club, but it was too late.
- Bobrovsky's numbers in his last 230:43 played: 0.52 GAA and .981 save percentage. He's 5-1-1 in his last seven appearances and has been the goaltender of record in all four games of the current win streak.
- Columbus was perfect on the penalty kill on Saturday, going 3-for-3 in man-down situations. The Blue Jackets have now gone nine games in a row without allowing a power play goal, a franchise record.
- Foligno snapped a 10-game goalless streak by netting his third marker of the year 6:35 into the second period. Foligno has now tallied 1-5-6 in his last six games played.
- Johnson also extended his point streak to three games by hammering his slapper past Gustavsson during a second period power play. Johnson has tallied 2-1-3 in three appearances since being activated off IR on Mar. 5.
at Detroit Red Wings
Sunday, 5 p.m.
Joe Louis Arena | Detroit, MI