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Red Wings visit Blue Jackets in key game

by Brian Compton

RED WINGS (29-22-13) at BLUE JACKETS (33-26-5)


Last 10: Detroit 5-3-2; Columbus 6-3-1

Season series: This is the second of three games between the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets. Detroit earned a 2-1 victory Oct. 15 at Joe Louis Arena.

Big story: These teams are in a heated battle for a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. They'll enter the game Tuesday tied at 71 points apiece, though Columbus is technically ahead with four more victories.

Team Scope:

Red Wings: After coming up empty in a 3-0 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon, the Red Wings know just how crucial these two points are as they attempt to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a 23rd consecutive season. Detroit has 18 games remaining on its schedule.

"It's been like this for the last 4-5 years, playing our way in," goaltender Jimmy Howard told the team website Monday. "Even after the Olympics in 2010, we went on a serious run to get in the playoffs. It's been like this for a little bit. I think guys in here don't press the panic button. We just go out and continue to play.

"We need that stress to understand the significance of each and every game. Every game means so much."

Blue Jackets: Columbus held a 1-0 lead early in the first period against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Monday before Dallas forward Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench. The game was stopped with 13:37 remaining in the first as trainers carried Peverley into the dressing room and was eventually postponed. The NHL will reschedule the game at a later date.

"As scary moments go, I'm just glad our league is so good at getting the best professional help in case things happen," Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson told the Columbus Dispatch. "They're always near the bench and they did a great job."

Who's hot: Red Wings forward Johan Franzen has six goals and 11 points in his past six games. … Blue Jackets forward Artem Anisimov has six goals in his past six games.

Injury report: Detroit forwards Pavel Datsyuk (knee), Darren Helm (upper body), Daniel Cleary (knee) and Stephen Weiss (groin) and goalie Jonas Gustavsson (groin) are day-to-day. Captain Henrik Zetterberg (back) is out. … Columbus will be without defensemen Ryan Murray (knee) and Fedor Tyutin (ankle), Forward Jared Boll (ankle) is day-to-day.

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