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Blue Jackets edge Red Wings for seventh straight win

by Paul Harris

DETROIT -- The Columbus Blue Jackets aren't quite where they want to be, but they're in a much better place than they were a few weeks ago.

Ryan Johansen and Boone Jenner scored in the shootout to give Columbus its seventh straight win in a 1-0 victory against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday.

After a bad start, partially caused by a slew of injuries, the Blue Jackets are 13-15-2 and back in the Stanley Cup Playoff race.

"We're playing really good hockey and good hockey that's allowing us to vie for a playoff position," Columbus left wing Nick Foligno said.

But the Blue Jackets know there is a lot more they have to do.

"We'll keep building, definitely. But we've still got a lot of work ahead of us to make the playoffs," said goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season and 10th of his career.

Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said it was about more than Bobrovsky on Tuesday.

"Team commitment. We played a team game," Richards said. "[Bobrovsky] was good, but the 18 guys who were skating in front of him were working hard too.

"We still have a long ways to go. We dug ourselves a pretty good hole."

Detroit (17-7-8) lost its fourth straight despite Jimmy Howard's 29 saves for his second shutout and 20th of his career; he has not allowed a goal in 125 minutes against Columbus this season.

"I thought we had great chances early and missed the net on them," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "What I don’t like is Howie stood on his head and leaves the rink feeling like he didn't win. They don't have a home run derby at the end of a tied ballgame because it doesn't make any sense. But it is what it is and there's points on the line and we've got to find a way. Howie needs to get a win, that's it."

Detroit is 1-6 in shootouts this season; Howard is 0-6. Center Pavel Datsyuk scored in the shootout for the Red Wings.

"Any loss is tough to swallow. None of us want to lose games," Howard said. "It happens every once in a while: Sometimes you come out on the right end of it and sometimes you don't. For myself, it's just keep looking forward."

Howard denied Blue Jackets defenseman Kevin Connauton from the inside edge of the left circle with 1:16 remaining in overtime. Columbus defenseman James Wisniewski missed an open net from the bottom of the right circle roughly one minute into the extra period.

Bobrovsky made a nice save on Datsyuk from the bottom of the right circle with 2:44 remaining in the third.

"He's been a big part of our success for seven games," Foligno said of Bobrovsky. "When he's playing like that, he's hard to beat. We know he's going to stop the shots from the outside."

Howard denied Foligno cutting in off the left wing and across the crease with about seven minutes left.

"Jimmy was very impressive today again," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "He made some key saves after key saves and unfortunately we couldn't get the two points for him here tonight."

Howard made a pad save on Corey Tropp's tip attempt from the lip of the crease 8:01 into the third period. He also denied Matt Calvert on a breakaway less than two minutes into the third.

Howard made a glove save on a shot that was headed for the top corner from center Brandon Dubinsky, who was in the slot, 23 seconds into the second period.

Bobrovsky stopped right wing Justin Abdelkader from in front with a blocker save 3:35 into the second.

Foligno hit the goal post 8:20 into the second period.

Bobrovsky made a nice pad save on Gustav Nyquist's backhand off a rebound from outside of the crease to Bobrovsky's left with 6:06 remaining in the second.

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