COLUMBUS - The Red Wings have played the Blue Jackets well all season but have not been able to beat them.
Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was the difference once again, making 35 saves as the Blue Jackets took a 2-1 victory at Nationwide Arena Saturday night.
Before the game, the Blue Jackets paid tribute to Mike Ilitch, who passed away Friday. The tribute included a moment of silence.
There were quite a few Wings fans in attendance and a few of them started a "Mr. I" chant after the moment of silence.
1. Thomas Vanek : Vanek went to the net at 16:06 of the first and lifted a pass from Henrik Zetterberg over Bobrovsky to tie the game at 1. It was the third straight game that the Wings have scored a power-play goal. Vanek is first on the team with 14 goals. Andreas Athanasiou is second with 13. Vanek has a three-game point streak with 2-2-4 in his that span. At 4:51 of the third period, one of the Blue Jackets fell on Vanek's ankle and Vanek had to go straight to the dressing room. Vanek returned later in the third and nearly had an assist on a game-tying goal but Bobrovsky made a difficult save on Tomas Tatar's shot.
Quotable: "Just fell on me. Came in and walked it off and felt fine. Feels all right. Doesn't feel great but I got to finish the game with it so we'll see how it feels. We'll see how it feels when I wake up tomorrow." - Vanek
2. Henrik Zetterberg: Zetterberg's no-look assist on Vanek's power-play goal gave him 310 career power-play points. He passes Sergei Fedorov for fourth in Wings history. Zetterberg now has 28 assists, most on the team. Vanek is second with 22 and Gustav Nyquist is third with 21. Zetterberg's line accounted for 14 of the team's shots, Nyquist leading the way with six.
Quotable: "I thought we battled hard. We kept it simple for the most part. I thought the PK was good, the power play was good, scored one and created a lot of chances and created man for our team. Petr was good in net again. We have to take a lot of positives away from this game. We've got a big one tomorrow again and it's a good team, so we've just got to regroup and get back at it." - Zetterberg
3. Power play: The Red Wings have struggled with the man-advantage all season but there are some good signs. For only the second time all season, the Wings have scored a power-play goal in three straight games. The last time they did so was Oct. 17-21. Vanek has two power-play goals in the three games and Athanasiou has the other.
Quotable: "We seem to be getting some results. But I also thought the power play effort was excellent. I thought we won tons of battles, I thought we created lots of chances. We created pressure and that's what you want to do. You're not going to score every time but you want to create pressure and momentum and for the most part we did a good job of that." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill