Blue Jackets-Red Wings Preview
GAME: Columbus Blue Jackets (9-23-0) at Detroit Red Wings (22-9-3).
TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
The highest-scoring team in the Western Conference meets the club with the fewest goals scored in the NHL when the Detroit Red Wings host the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Red Wings have scored 129 goals, more than doubling the Blue Jackets' output of 62. Detroit has outscored Columbus 12-2 in a pair of victories this season, and has won 18 of the 23 all-time meetings between the teams.
Detroit has scored six or more goals seven times this season, including a 6-3 win over defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay on Saturday night.
"I thought the game was a lot of fun," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "It's zooming out there against those guys. I'd love to play these guys five or six times because I think it improves your play to play against talent like that."
Pavel Datsyuk had two goals and an assist, and has five goals and 10 points over his last five games. Brendan Shanahan added a goal and an assist to give him four goals and 13 points during a six-game points streak
Datsyuk has three goals and four assists in his last three games against the Blue Jackets, while Shanahan has 10 goals and 14 assists in 23 career contests against Columbus.
The Blue Jackets lost their second in a row overall and fourth straight on the road Saturday, 7-3 to Nashville. Columbus is 3-14-0 away from home this season.
The Blue Jackets led the Predators 1-0 after the first period on Rick Nash's first goal of the season, but allowed a franchise-record six goals in the second period.
Nash, who tied for the NHL lead with 41 goals during the 2003-04 season, played for only the fourth time this season after being placed on injured reserve with a knee sprain in early November.
"I thought we had a great first period," he said. "It is still going to take some time to find where each other are, but for stepping out there and not really practicing together, it is pretty positive."
STANDINGS: Blue Jackets - 18 points, 4th place, 29 PB, Central Division. Red Wings - 47 points, 1st place, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Blue Jackets - Nikolai Zherdev, 8 goals; David Vyborny, 14 assists and 21 points; Jody Shelley, 67 PIM. Red Wings - Shanahan, 19 goals; Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom, 26 assists; Datsyuk, 40 points; Chris Chelios, 62 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Blue Jackets - Power play: 12.1 percent (22 for 181), 29th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.7 percent (187 for 226), 14th (tied). Red Wings - Power play: 26.4 percent (52 for 197), 1st. Penalty killing: 84 percent (174 for 207), 8th.
GOALTENDERS: Blue Jackets - Marc Denis (4-13-0, 3.43 GAA); Pascal Leclaire (2-7-0, 3.68). Red Wings - Chris Osgood (8-3-3, 3.08); Jimmy Howard (1-2-0, 2.99).
SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Oct. 24; Red Wings, 6-2. At Columbus, Ohio, Shanahan and Datsyuk each scored two goals, and Manny Legace tied the NHL record for wins by a goaltender in October with nine.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jackets - 3-14-0 on the road; Red Wings - 11-5-1 at home.