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Wings look for fourth straight against Jackets

by Brian Compton
RED WINGS (42-20-8) at BLUE JACKETS (32-27-10)

TV: Fox Sports-Detroit, Fox Sports-Ohio.

Last 10: Detroit 5-3-2; Columbus 2-4-4.

Season Series: This is the sixth and final meeting between the Central Division rivals. Detroit is 3-1-1 against Columbus this season, but the Blue Jackets earned a 3-0 victory in the most recent showdown on Feb. 4 at Joe Louis Arena.

Big Story: The Vancouver Canucks were the first team to reach 100 points and seemed destined to earn home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the Red Wings appear primed to go on another long run this spring. Facing a team that had won nine straight games, Detroit skated away with a 3-2 victory against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena. It was the Wings' third straight win.

Team Scope:

Red Wings: Henrik Zetterberg had only scored twice in 26 games entering Wednesday's showdown with the Washington Capitals, but the Swedish superstar made up for it in a big way at Joe Louis Arena. Zetterberg ended a nine-game drought with a pair of goals, helping Detroit end the Caps' nine-game winning streak in a 3-2 victory.

"Every time you're in a slump like that, you start to doubt yourself, so it's nice to see I can still score some goals," Zetterberg said. "It's been a while and you start to think too much and make bad decisions out there, so it was nice to get it out of the way." 

Blue Jackets: Seven points out of a playoff spot with only 13 games remaining in their regular season, the Blue Jackets are on life support. They managed to get a point against one of the better teams in the League on Tuesday night, when the Blue Jackets suffered a 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins at Nationwide Arena.

"We're as happy as you can be without getting two points," Columbus coach Scott Arniel said. "I said to the coaches that was one of our best games in probably two or three weeks."

Who's Hot: Wings center Darren Helm and Blue Jackets winger Scottie Upshall  have both scored four goals in their last eight games.

Injury Report: For Columbus, Chris Clark (lower body), Kristian Huselius (ankle) and Andrew Murray (lower body) are day-to-day. Anton Stralman (knee) is out indefinitely.

Stat Pack: Columbus captain Rick Nash has gone 10 straight games without a goal, one short of his career high. Nash went 11 contests without a tally last season and also during his rookie campaign of 2002-03.

Puck Drop: "You know when you're on a roll -- no different for us -- that roll's going to come to an end at one time. "I thought they played good and I thought we played good. We were able to get one more than them. I thought we carried the bulk of the play there in the middle of the game, but I thought they pushed good at the end. It was a good game." -- Detroit coach Mike Babcock after Wednesday's 3-2 win against Washington
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