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game recap

Blue Jackets edge Red Wings, take over first wild card in East

Win fourth straight, two points out of third in Metropolitan

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets took over the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference with a 3-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Nationwide Arena on Friday.

 

[WATCH: All Red Wings vs. Blue Jackets highlights]

 

Defenseman Seth Jones scored twice for Columbus (36-28-5), which won its fourth straight game and passed the New Jersey Devils, who hold the second wild card and trail the Blue Jackets by one point. Columbus is two points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Video: DET@CBJ: Jones knocks in rebound for his second goal

"We always talked about how we just wanted to make sure we were hitting our stride at the right time," Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno said. "We still have a little ways to go, but we feel more and more confident about our game as we get closer to the stuff that matters."

The Red Wings (26-31-11) have lost six in a row (0-5-1) and are 13 points behind New Jersey.

Jones scored twice in the second period for a 3-1 lead. He has three goals in the past two games and an NHL career-high 13 this season, one better than his total last season.

It was his second two-goal game in the NHL; the other was Jan. 31, 2017, against the New York Rangers. He has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in the past eight games.

"Pucks are going in," he said. "Sometimes you get stretches like that and then you go 15, 20 games without a point. That's the way hockey is. It's a good time for me to be producing now with the situation we're in."

After Andreas Athanasiou scored with 3:43 remaining in the third period to make it 3-2, Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made a point-blank save on Darren Helm with one second left.

Video: DET@CBJ: Athanasiou beats Bobrovsky on odd-man rush

"We had some good wall battles there to keep the puck in and eventually [Helm] gets a good chance," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "It was close."

Zetterberg had been critical of his young teammates after a 4-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday for taking shortcuts and cheating defensively to create offense. He said he saw an improvement against Columbus.

"We worked harder," he said. "We did things right and everyone showed up. We battled hard. We had a really good start. We didn't really get anything with it but we created a lot of chances. We forechecked pretty good and had pressure on them."

Matt Calvert scored in the first period, and Bobrovsky made 22 saves for the Blue Jackets.

Helm scored, and Jared Coreau made 33 saves for Detroit in his second start of the season. He allowed four goals on 16 shots and was pulled after 23:27 in a 6-5 loss at the Boston Bruins on Tuesday.

"I was more shot-ready so nothing surprised me," he said. "The Boston game things just seemed to happen faster than I was ready for. It was a big key tonight."

Calvert's second shorthanded goal of the season, at 15:33 of the first period, gave Columbus a 1-0 lead. He scored in the slot on a pass by Alexander Wennberg from behind the net. 

Helm's goal 21 seconds later tied it 1-1 at 15:54.

Jones scored on a one-timer from Artemi Panarin off the rush to make it 2-1 at 1:45 of the second.

"I knew Panarin, he can shoot the puck, so when he was coming down I was expecting a shot," Coreau said. "I knew one of their guys was coming with speed but he made a pretty smart play by slowing down so then my recoil, my flow back in the net slowed down as well. When he made the pass, I didn't have momentum as well."

Another rush resulted in Jones' second goal and a 3-1 lead at 8:15 of the second. Coreau made a save on Boone Jenner off a pass from Thomas Vanek, but Jones skated in for the rebound.

 

Goal of the game

Jones' goal at 1:45 of the second period.

Video: DET@CBJ: Panarin sets up Jones for one-timer

 

Save of the game

Bobrovsky's save on Helm with one second remaining in the third period.

Video: DET@CBJ: Bobrovsky robs Helm late to seal win

 

Highlight of the game

Calvert's goal at 15:33 of the first period.

Video: DET@CBJ: Calvert fires home Wennberg's pass for SHG

 

They said it

"After the first period I thought we were outstanding. It got a little nervous at the end but we were really good." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella

"Anytime you get shut out you want to come back and play harder and play for your teammates and your goalie." -- Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou

"Couldn't come at a better time." -- Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones on winning four straight

 

Need to know

Red Wings forward Frans Nielsen (upper body) sat for a second straight game. … Detroit has allowed a shorthanded goal in consecutive games. ... The Blue Jackets have won five straight against the Red Wings and are 15-3-2 against them since March 28, 2012. … Panarin has seven points (three goals, four assists) in the past four games.

 

What's next

Red Wings: At the San Jose Sharks on Monday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Monday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV)

Video: Blue Jackets hold on to beat Red Wings, 3-2

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