Columbus at Detroit (12/26/09)

The Red Wings hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. Mathieu Garon was the starting goalie for the Jackets and Jimmy Howard was in for the Wings.

The best news today was that Valtteri Filppula was back in action for the Red Wings. He was on a line with Leino and Eaves. Rafalski was also back in the lineup tonight after recovering quickly from the flu.

The Blue Jackets came out firing. They seemed to have a bit more energy than the Wings in the first few minutes of the game. Jimmy Howard had to make a few good saves early on.

With about eight minutes left in the first period Meech tried to make an outlet pass that was picked off by Voracek. He shot it and Howard made the stop but the rebound came to Vermette. He took another shot at it and got it by Howard to put the Jackets up one to nothing.

That was the only goal of the period and it was lucky for the Wings. They were badly out shot and out chanced. Fortunately, Jimmy Howard made several really good saves to keep this one from getting out of hand early. Power play time was even so you can’t claim that as a reason for the lopsided stats.

In the second period Stuart shot one from the point that hit one post and traced the goal line all the way across behind Garon and then hit the other post and bounced out. It was unbelievable but pretty much par for the course lately. The Red Wings have had no luck except bad luck.

Later in the second Detroit was on the power play. Lidstrom gave Datsyuk the puck at center ice. Datsyuk took it into the zone with Bertuzzi just coming off the bench. Bertuzzi went straight to the net and Datsyuk passed it to him. Garon, expecting a quick shot, over-committed to the side Bertuzzi was on. Bertuzzi just held onto the puck for an extra second then when Garon slid out of the way he put it in the wide open net. That tied the game at one and ended the Red Wings goal drought that’s been going for more than two games.

Late in the second period Columbus was on the power play. The puck was on the ice in front of Howard and he sprawled out on the ice to cover the puck. Before he could cover it though somebody hit it with their stick and it was chipped up and over Howard. As the puck was coming down in the net Helm went in behind Howard. He swatted at the puck with his stick and popped it up in the air. Then he batted it with his glove to get it the rest of the way out of there. It really looked like a goal but the referee was right there to say no goal. It was only on the replay that you could really tell what happened. Helm saved a goal and kept the game tied. Great job by him!

The second period was a lot better for Detroit. They evened up the scoring chances and brought the shots on goal almost even.

Early in the third period Bertuzzi sent the puck from behind the net to Rafalski at the point. Then Bertuzzi went to the side of the net. Rafalski’s shot went wide but it drew Garon’s and everyone else’s attention to that side of the net. The puck bounced off the end boards and came straight to Bertuzzi who was standing at the other side of the net with nobody even looking at him. He put it into the wide open net again for his second goal of the night. That put the Wings up two to one.

The Blue Jackets pulled their goalie with a little over a minute to go. The Wings had two or three shots at the empty net but weren’t able to get the freebie.

The Wings won the game one to two. It was great to see the team rally the way they did after a subpar first period. They played really well the rest of the game.

They’ll face Columbus again on Monday, on the road this time.

This 1-2 win brings us to:
43 points

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