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Blue Jackets beat depleted Red Wings

by Craig Merz

COLUMBUS -- The Detroit Red Wings had plenty of chances to build a lead against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first period Tuesday night. But they didn't capitalize on their domination, and the Blue Jackets used a three-goal third period to earn a 4-1 victory and possession of third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Detroit held an 18-8 shot advantage in the first period, but the teams skated off the ice tied 1-1 because of Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.

"We persevered in the first period solely because of Bob," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "That score could have easily been 4-1 or 5-1 easily, if not for Bob. We didn't start the game the right way but we certainly ended the right way."

The Blue Jackets (34-26-5) have won two in a row; Detroit (29-23-13) has lost two straight.

Columbus was coming off an emotional Monday night in Dallas when Stars forward Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench in the first period. He was immediately treated for a heart condition and hospitalized in stable condition; the game was postponed.

Columbus rebounded from the slow start against Detroit and scored three times in the final 10 minutes. Boone Jenner broke the 1-1 tie at 10:08 and Brandon Dubinsky scored 40 seconds later to make it 3-1. Derek MacKenzie added an insurance goal five minutes later to back a 39-save performance by Bobrovsky.

Nick Foligno scored in the first period for the Blue Jackets, and Nathan Horton had two assists.

"Obviously with what went on [Monday] night to come back and get a big win was pretty satisfying," Foligno said.

Derek DeKeyser gave Detroit the lead at 10:24 of the first period but Bobrovsky stopped the next 31 shots he faced. DeKeyser's shot was deflected by Columbus forward Matt Calvert and changed direction before going past Bobrovsky. It was his fourth goal.

"It was a pretty rough start for us," Foligno said. "We didn't start the way we wanted to. Bob was outstanding for us to keep us in it. We were on the retreat."

But that would be it for the Red Wings.

"We've got to score and that's why they pay Bob to stop the puck," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said of the first period. "Sometimes when you're not as good you expect your goalie to be good. He was good early for him."

Detroit, dealing with a rash of injuries, suffered another setback when top goalie Jimmy Howard couldn't go because of the flu. Petr Mrazek made 33 saves and kept the Red Wings in the game after Detroit failed to take advantage of three power plays in the first 13 minutes.

"We had some good looks but we've got to be able score," Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "We had a really good first period, a lot of jump and we spent a lot of time in their zone."

At one point the Blue Jackets were outshot 16-3 but tied the score on their fourth shot at 15:11.

Foligno was knocked to the ice by Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, but while on his stomach in the low slot he was able to whack a rebound of a shot from the left point by Nick Schultz past Mrazek for his 17th of the season. It was Schultz's first assist with Columbus and came in his first home since being acquired from the Edmonton Oilers on March 5.

"We were a much better team than they were in the first period," Babcock said. "We carried the play and had better chances. They were better than us in the second and carried the play."

The score remained tied until Jenner's goal.

He forechecked the puck from Cory Emmerton, a center called up for the game from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL to replace center Joakim Andersson, who broke his foot Sunday against the New York Rangers. The 12th goal for Jenner came after he skated from behind the goal line to the right dot and fired a shot over the shoulder of Mrazek.

"I came around the net," Jenner said. "I was kind of looking around and the seas parted."

Dubinsky followed with his 13th taking a dish from Calvert and making a strong move to the net before beating Mrazek.

"When we gave up the second goal we came unraveled," Babcock said. "We didn't do anything in the third."

MacKenzie completed the scoring at 15:48 off a pass from Mark Letestu. He has seven goals.

"We played great the first 50 minutes," Mrazek said.

The Red Wings, who were without seven regulars from their 2-1 win against Columbus on Oct. 15 in Detroit, also lost right wing Tomas Jurco to an upper-body injury in the third period and he did not return.

Columbus has turned the series around against their former Central Division, going 6-1-1 in the past eight games against Detroit, including 4-0-1 in the past five in Nationwide Arena.

The teams play again March 15 in Columbus to complete the season series.

Columbus is home to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday. Detroit is off until the Edmonton Oilers come to Joe Louis Arena on Friday.

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