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Blue Jackets again seek first win against Red Wings

by Dave Lozo
RED WINGS (5-1-0) at BLUE JACKETS (0-7-1)


Season Series:
This is the second of six meetings. The Red Wings emerged with a 5-2 win at Joe Louis Arena on Friday. It was a 3-2 game midway through the third period, but Nicklas Lidstrom put the game away with his second goal of the season and Valtteri Filppula added an empty-netter.

Big Story: The Red Wings will be looking to avoid their first losing streak of the season after their perfect 5-0-0 start ended Saturday in Washington, while the Blue Jackets are still searching for their first victory. Five of the Jackets' eight losses have been by one goal, so they're close to turning it around. Beating the Wings, though, won't be easy.

Team Scope:

Red Wings: After five straight wins to open the season, the Red Wings were blown out by the Capitals 7-1 in a battle of unbeatens. Ty Conklin allowed all seven goals but will get a chance to redeem himself, as he will make his second straight start. Starter Jimmy Howard is unavailable after his wife gave birth over the weekend.

It's tough to find positives in such a one-sided defeat, but captain Nicklas Lidstrom hopes his guys learned a lesson in Washington.

"It shows that if you don’t play your best, you’re going to lose, and if you play against a good team, they’re going to hurt you," Lidstrom said. "They stuck with it for the full 60 minutes, and we had some letdowns late in the game."

Blue Jackets: Eight games, eight losses, one point. Everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong in Columbus. Thirty-six seconds away from their first win of the season, the Jackets allowed two regulation goals to the Ottawa Senators to lose 4-3.

"We played well for 59 minutes and then they got to us at the end," captain Rick Nash said. "It's tough. It seems like we're not getting any bounces. It seems like we're finding ways to lose games instead of finding ways to win games. That's the difference between good teams and bad teams right now."

A bright spot is the return of defenseman James Wisniewski for Tuesday's game. He served an eight-game suspension for a head shot he delivered to Cal Clutterbuck of the Wild during the preseason.

Who's Hot:
Filppula and Johan Franzen are the hottest Wings to start the season, with 7 points in six games. … Nash and Vinny Prospal have been the offensive catalysts for the Jackets, each posting 3 goals and 5 assists in 8 games.

Injury Report:
Mike Commodore (knee) could be available for coach Mike Babcock, but he may wait to insert him into the lineup. … For the Jackets, defenseman Radek Martinek (concussion) is on IR after he suffered the injury against the Wings on Friday. Fellow d-man Marc Methot (hand) won't play. Jeff Carter (foot) is getting close to returning, but likely won't be on the ice either. Kristian Huselius (chest) and Jared Boll (hand) are out for about a month.

Stat Pack: The Jackets' poor start is an extension of last year's poor finish, when they went 0-4-2 in their last six and 1-7-3 in their last 11. Meanwhile, the Wings have a total of 14 losses in their last 35 regular-season games.

Puck Drop: "It probably goes to show what a fragile hockey team we truly are. We played a great game, we took a penalty (late in the third) and it unraveled from there. Obviously the Senators got some life from it. I feel for these guys; they came in here after busting their tails in Detroit and they worked hard again tonight. They put it all out on the line, and that's where we're at right now. We make mistakes and the puck ends up in our net. We don't have to luxury of squeaking out wins." -- Jackets coach Scott Arniel, following the 4-3 loss in Ottawa

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