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Red Wings begin Cup defense vs. Jackets

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT – For the first time ever, the Columbus Blue Jackets are in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and will face the defending champion Red Wings in a best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinals series, beginning Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.

Game 2 will also be in Detroit on Saturday at 6 p.m. EDT . Game 1, 3, 4 and 5 of the series are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. EDT. Times for Games 6 and 7 have not yet been announced.

The series will switch Ohio’s capital city for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday, April 21 and Thursday, April 23 at Nationwide Arena. (See full series schedule below).

The Wings won the season series with their Central Division rivals, 3-2-1.

Geographically, the Blue Jackets are the closest Western Conference rivals to the Red Wings with just 200 miles between JLA and Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus.

With St. Louis winning on Sunday at Colorado, the Blues moved to the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference. St. Louis will face the Vancouver Canucks in a first-round series. The Blues’ win pushed Columbus to No. 7 and Anaheim to No. 8. The Ducks will play West Coast rival San Jose. The other Western series has No. 4 Chicago against No. 5 Calgary.

The Blue Jackets are led by forward and leading scorer Rick Nash, who had 40 goals with 39 assists during the regular-season. They are also paced by an outstanding rookie goalie, Steve Mason, who led the league with 10 shutouts and was second in the league with a 2.29 goals-against average (2.29).

Western Conference Quarterfinal
Detroit Red Wings vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Game Day Date Time Arena TV
Game 1 Thu April 16 7 p.m. Joe Louis Arena FSD, VS, TSN
Game 2 Sat April 18 6 p.m. Joe Louis Arena FSD, TSN
Game 3 Tue April 21 7 p.m. Nationwide Arena FSD, TSN
Game 4 Thu April 23 7 p.m. Nationwide Arena FSD, TSN
*Game 5 Sat April 25 7 p.m. Joe Louis Arena FSD, VS, TSN
*Game 6 Mon April 27 TBA Nationwide Arena FSD, TSN
*Game 7 Wed April 29 TBA Joe Louis Arena FSD, VS, TSN
*If Necessary

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