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Wings look to rebound at Columbus

by David Kalan

RED WINGS (0-1-0) at BLUE JACKETS (1-0-0)

TV: TSN, NBCSN, FS-Detroit

Season series: This is the first meeting of the season for Detroit and Columbus. The Wings won four of six games against the Blue Jackets in 2011-12.

Big story: The Red Wings are looking for a big bounce-back after getting roughed up in ther season opener by St. Louis Saturday night. The Jackets, fresh off a shootout win in Nashville, will look to impress in their home opener to build some early-season momentum.

Team Scope:

Red Wings: No one in the Detroit organization thought transition to life without Nicklas Lidstrom would be easy, but they might not have expected the start of the post-Lidstrom era to be such a rude awakening. Detroit got rocked by the division-rival Blues 6-0 in its season opener Saturday night and the shaky performance now has some wondering if 2012-13 is when the Wings' League-best string of 21 consecutive playoff appearances might finally come to an end.

Those insinuations could be dramatic conclusions to draw, however. Even without Lidstrom, and with a handful of injuries creeping into the roster, the Wings are still loaded with talent. It seems unlikely Detroit's offense can be kept silent as it was in St. Louis for long, and even though goalie Jimmy Howard surrendered five goals on just 28 shots against the Blues, he is still the same goaltender who has won at least 35 games per season since he took over the full-time job in 2009-10. Monday will provide the Wings with an early opportunity to right the ship.

Blue Jackets: If there is any team with as big a void to fill from offseason moves as Detroit, it just might be Columbus, which dealt franchise cornerstone Rick Nash to the Rangers this past summer. Columbus appeared to be taking the move in stride in its season opener, however, outlasting the Predators for a 3-2 shootout win in Nashville Saturday. Perhaps even more noteworthy is that one of the players acquired for Nash, Artem Anisimov, was responsible for the goal that eventually forced overtime.

While 2012-13 is widely expected to be a rebuilding year for Columbus, its season-opening win, the franchise's first in three years, could be a sign the uphill climb isn't quite as steep as it had initially appeared. That could be as premature a conclusion to come to as the reports of Detroit's demise, however. Monday night's showdown should be very telling for what the rest of the season has in store for the Jackets.

Who's hot: In his first start with Columbus following an offseason trade from Philadelphia, Sergei Bobrovsky looked superb in net, stopping 32 of 34 shots.

Injury report: In addition to Darren Helm (back) being on IR, the Wings are battling several nagging injuries. Todd Bertuzzi (mononucleosis) is out indefinitely, Patrick Eaves (post-concussion syndrome) is unlikely to face Columbus and Jakub Kindl (groin strain) and Jan Mursak (collarbone) are both questionable for Monday. Goalie Jonas Gustavsson is also battling a groin injury and will miss a couple of games. ... With the exception of top draft pick Ryan Murray's season-long absence following shoulder surgery, the Blue Jackets are healthy.

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