BLUE JACKETS (13-28-5) at RED WINGS (31-15-1)
TV: FS-O (HD), FS-D+
Columbus 4-6-0; Detroit 8-2-0
This is the third of six meetings between the Central Division rivals. They split their first two, with Detroit winning 5-2 at Joe Louis Arena on Oct. 21, and the Jackets returning the favor Oct. 25 in Columbus with a 4-1 victory that snapped their season-opening eight-game winless skid.
Can the Red Wings continue to extend their club-record home win streak to 16 games?
It's been a rough first half for the Columbus Blue Jackets
, so the upcoming All-Star break should provide a much-needed vacation.
However, the Jackets have three games before the break, starting Saturday in Detroit, and interim coach Todd Richards expects to see his team put forth its best effort.
"We still want to finish this thing out by doing good things and continuing to grow and taking steps forward in the right direction," Richards told the Columbus Dispatch. "We've got a great test in Detroit, with them playing at home. They’ve got the winning streak going there and it’s obviously a very confident group. It's not about getting ahead of ourselves and looking past these three teams."
At 6-foot-3 and 229-pounds, Todd Bertuzzi
never will be confused with a figure skater. However, he pulled off a dandy spin-o-rama for the shootout-winning goal Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Bertuzzi told reporters he had been talking with teammate Danny Cleary
prior to his shootout attempt about the spin move, which saw him lift a backhander over a fallen Mike Smith.
"I just talked it over with Cleary pretty quick and he told me that it was time to break it out," Bertuzzi said. "I was pretty bummed out the last couple of days, not scoring in Dallas on that one, so it was nice to get a little redemption."
Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash
has 4 goals in his last nine games, and the odds are on him increasing that total against the Red Wings. Nash has scored 23 goals against the Wings, tied for the most against any opponent. … Bertuzzi had a regulation goal as well as the shootout winner Thursday against Phoenix, and in his last four games, he has 4 goals and 2 assists.
The Jackets will miss defenseman Radek Martinek
for the rest of the season due to a concussion. Also out for Columbus are defenseman James Wisniewski
(ankle), and forwards Jeff Carter
(shoulder), Mark Letestu
(wrist), Kristian Huselius
(groin) and RJ Umberger
(concussion). … The only player missing for the Wings is forward Patrick Eaves
, who is recovering from jaw surgery.
The Red Wings' home win streak is five shy of the all-time NHL mark of 20 straight home wins, set by the Boston Bruins in the 1929-30 season and matched by the 1974-75 Philadelphia Flyers.
Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom
had some company with him this week -- a camera crew documenting his every move for the next edition of "NHL 36." The show will debut on the NBC Sports Network on Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m. ET, and will re-air multiple times on NBCSP and the NHL Network.
"They were in a lot of our meetings, they were in our penalty-killing meeting just to see what that's like," Lidstrom told the team's website. "It just started (Monday) so we haven't done a whole lot, but it's different. It's different having someone follow you the whole time no matter what you do, whether you're in here, or like today I rode a bike instead of going on the ice. I did some stretching and we had our meeting, so it's just a matter of getting used to it."