Columbus at Detroit (11/28/08)

For tonight’s game the Columbus Blue Jackets faced the Wings in Detroit.  Pascal LeClaire was the starting goalie for the Blue Jackets and Osgood was in for the Wings.  Holmstrom was still out with back problems.  Dan Cleary made his return after being out for several weeks with an eye infection.  It’s nice to have him back; I’m sure that was very frustrating for him to have to sit out when he probably felt fine otherwise.  He will now wear the visor permanently although he did have it on when he scratched his cornea.  Personally, I think it’s a good idea.  I’d like to see them all wear visors.  Nothing sucks worse than losing a critical player at a critical time when a simple visor would have prevented it.  We’ve all seen that happen in recent memory  to the likes Cleary, Draper, and Yzerman.

The Blue Jackets scored first with an opportunistic play.  Osgood made the initial save and the rebound went to the side of the net.  Jakus Voracek happened to be right there and he popped it in.  He was just in the right place at the right time.  There wasn’t much Ozzie could have done about that one.  

Later in the first period there was a big hit on Filppula.  It was a clean hit but Lilja went after Torres anyway.  The linesman grabbed hold of Lilja and nobody had Torres.  It was the worst possible reaction to a fight.  Basically, the linesman said, “I’ll hold hold him down and you wail on him.”  Luckily, Torres recognized the situation immediately and did the honorable thing by backing off.  The crowd let the linesman have it with a shower of boos and I don’t blame them.  Mickey Redmond also had some choice words for the linesman.  When it was all sorted out Detroit had a power play because Torres got an extra two minutes.

On the ensuing power play the Red Wings scored on a great snap shot from Zetterberg with Franzen in the way blocking LeClaire from seeing the puck.

About half way through the second period Franzen had breakaway chance.  He didn’t score because he got tripped up but he did draw the penalty.  On the power play the Wings were able to enjoy some sustained pressure partly because Nash was without a stick.  At least twice the Red Wings kept the puck in the zone because Nash couldn’t clear it with his feet.  They got the puck to the net and LeClaire made a save or two but the puck ended up dropping right near the goal line.  Jiri Hudler was there to push it in for the goal and the lead.

A few minutes later Kronwall made a big hit and the Blue Jackets took exception.  They wanted to go after him but nothing developed.  At the next faceoff though Lilja went with Boll.  The each threw a few punches but nothing serious.  Lilja got the takedown, and that was the end of the fight.  

Close to the end of the second period the Blue Jackets tied it up.  There was a crowd in front of Osgood and Tyutin released a shot from near the blue line.  It may have been tipped in front but it looked like Osgood never had a good read on it, possibly because of the traffic.

With just 25 seconds left in the period Datsyuk fed Hossa as he streaked towards the slot.  Hossa one-timed it into the back of the net to re-take the lead for the Wings.

Early in the second period Tyutin took a shot from center ice.  It hopped and surprised Osgood.  It went over his glove and into the net to tie the game.  You can bet Ozzy wanted a second chance at that one.  It’s just one of those things that happens once in a while.  You just have to forget about it and move on.  They showed a great replay telestrated by Mickey Redmond where it looked like it hit Hossa’s stick at the blue line.  That may be what caused it to hop up on Ozzy.  Still, that was at the blue line so he should have had time to react.  He just wasn’t ready for it.

With two minutes left in the game Datsyuk won a faceoff in the Columbus end and got it to Hossa.  Hossa went skate to stick and released a shot from a not-so-good angle that beat LeClaire.  The puck and the goaltender ended up in the net.  That gave Detroit the lead again late in the game.

With 12 seconds left Detroit took a penalty.  The Blue Jackets pulled the goalie.  Draper won the faceoff and got the puck back.  Since the Wings were shorthanded he was free to fire it at the empty net.  From deep in his own end Draper scored the empty net goal which was his first goal of the season.

The Wings looked pretty dominant in this game.  Osgood made some great saves and that fluky goal from center ice made the score closer than it should have been.  All in all it was a pretty good performance.

This 5-3 win brings us to:
34 points

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