Skip to Main Content

Red Wings-Blue Jackets Preview @NHLdotcom

Dominik Hasek has 367 career regular season wins, but he hasn't been able to get one lately.

It remains to be seen who will be in net when the Detroit Red Wings visit the Central Division rival Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday in hopes of rebounding from another loss.

Hasek lost his third straight start Thursday, and is just 5-5-1 this season for the team with the most points in the Western Conference. Chris Osgood, meanwhile, is 10-1-0 for Detroit (15-6-1), and is just 21 wins behind Hasek for his career.

The Red Wings have lost four of six after starting 13-2-1, and three of the four losses came with Hasek in net, including a 3-2 defeat to Nashville on Thursday when the 42-year-old Czech made 26 saves.

"I got into the game and felt good," Hasek said. "I felt like I at least made a few saves. The last few games I didn't feel like I made any saves."

In his two previous starts, losses to St. Louis and Chicago, Hasek allowed a combined eight goals and made just 28 total saves. He is winless since a 4-1 victory over the Blue Jackets on Nov. 9 as he stopped just 15 shots.

Osgood made 36 saves to beat Columbus on Sunday in a 5-4 shootout win, marking the only time this season he's allowed four goals in a game. He improved his goals-against average to 1.65 with a 3-0 shutout of St. Louis on Wednesday.

But Red Wings coach Mike Babcock doesn't blame goaltending for Detroit's slight swoon. He's hoping the Wings can avoid the penalty box after giving Nashville seven power plays with their 10 penalties on Thursday.

"We have had too many penalty-kill opportunities the last couple of games and we have killed certain guys on our team," Babcock said. "There was a lot of specialty teams play. I don't think that was to our advantage. We have played the same guys over and over the past couple of games. When you do that you don't have the kind of spark that you need."

Goalie Pascal Leclaire has been the spark for Columbus (10-8-4) all season, and he got back on track Friday with 32 saves in a 4-0 win over Minnesota for his franchise-record sixth shutout of the season. The win ended a three-game losing streak for Columbus, which had been 1-5-2 in its previous eight games.

It was a good sign for Leclaire, who started 7-2-0 with a 1.12 GAA and five shutouts, but had been 1-3-1 with a 3.57 GAA in five games entering Friday. Leclaire wasn't even supposed to play, but backup Fredrik Norrena missed the game with an illness.

"We just wanted to come in and play a solid game today," Leclaire said. "I'm honest. I know when I play good. I know when I don't. Today I had to focus on being calm and patient."

The Blue Jackets had held team meetings in recent days to address their recent skid, which followed a franchise-record 8-3-2 start.

"Collectively, we weren't getting the message sent down from the coaching staff," veteran forward Michael Peca said. "We needed to re-evaluate where we are and where we're capable of being."

Rick Nash has scored a goal in five straight games for Columbus, including one in the Blue Jackets' shootout loss to Detroit. That was the Red Wings' lone win in their last four road games.

"What you see in our division is we're all the same, it's unbelievable," Babcock said after that game. "The league is very close and I think you're in a playoff game every night."

View More