RED WINGS 2 | BLUE JACKETS 1
JOE LOUIS ARENA
DETROIT -- The Blue Jackets' offense simply isn't scoring enough goals right now to withstand more than a couple of mistakes, and such was the case at Joe Louis Arena tonight.
RED WINGS 2 | BLUE JACKETS 1
Seeking an aggressive start and to dictate the pace against a Red Wings team that played Monday afternoon, the Blue Jackets were down early on Daniel Alfredsson's first goal with Detroit but responded well. They gathered themselves, got back on the horse and went to work on the forecheck - their bread and butter. It helped produce 18 shots at Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson in the first period, and despite one of their better periods of the year, the Blue Jackets were looking up at a 1-0 deficit.
Cam Atkinson helped change that in the second period, collecting the puck at his own blueline and soaring end-to-end for a game-tying power play goal at 7:48 of the middle frame. Gustavsson made the first stop after a nifty cross-over move by Atkinson, but the rebound was swatted in by No. 13 and the Blue Jackets had drawn level. But the game wasn't tied for long, and the Red Wings power play converted for the game-deciding goal on its third opportunity of the game.
Todd Bertuzzi received credit for the Red Wings' second goal, a bouncing puck that found its way into the crease and bounded behind Bobrovsky at 11:14 - and that was all Detroit needed. The home team turned it over to its netminder the rest of the way, and a couple of highlight-reel stops by Gustavsson kept the Blue Jackets with a lone tally.
The turning point of tonight's game came in the minutes following the Atkinson goal, and it was an interference penalty to Derek MacKenzie that gave Detroit the momentum right back. Columbus was in good shape after the 1-1 goal and played with some renewed energy, but the Red Wings' power play washed it out. Bertuzzi's goal came at the wrong time for the Blue Jackets, who probably needed to get into the second intermission all square.
1. JONAS GUSTAVSSON (DET)
No Jimmy Howard? No problem in two games for the Red Wings, who have gotten tremendous goaltending from their Swedish back-up the last two days. Gustavsson, as we mentioned above, finished with 36 stops including a remarkable diving save on Jack Johnson in the third period with Columbus pressing for the equalizer.
2. HENRIK ZETTERBERG (DET)
The Red Wings' captain was the best forward on the ice for either side and seemed to make something happen each time he had the puck. Columbus had Zetterberg and Datsyuk in check at even strength for the most part, but those guys only need a centimeter to make a difference. Zetterberg assisted on both Detroit goals tonight.
3. SERGEI BOBROVSKY (CBJ)
Bobrovsky was named the game's third star for the second straight game, and he was darn good for Columbus tonight. He finished with 30 saves and gave the Blue Jackets a chance to win the hockey game.
AT MONTREAL CANADIENS
THURSDAY, 7:30 P.M.