Red Wings edge Blue Jackets in shootoutWritten by Vincent D. Scebbi | | firstname.lastname@example.org
COLUMBUS — The Columbus Blue Jackets overcame a two-goal deficit, but could not close out as the Detroit Red Wings spoiled their home opener by winning 4-3 in a shootout on Jan. 21.
In a game that saw a total of 20 penalties, the Blue Jackets (1-0-1) capitalized on two power play goals in the final period to take their first and only lead for a short while.
A defensive breakdown, however, helped set up a back-door goal by Pavel Datsyuk with 6:04 left in regulation to tie the game.
“It was ours to win it at the end, so losing it in a shootout was a tough pill to swallow,” said Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson. “At the very least, we got a point out of it and every point is crucial in a 48-game schedule.”
Detroit’s special teams went 0-for-7 on the power play while the Blue Jackets scored twice on six chances.
“We need that in an 82-game season; special teams can win or lose you in playoffs, but we’re really going to need that now,” Johnson said.
The Red Wings (1-1-0) dominated puck control in the opening period, outshooting Columbus 13-5, but netminder Sergei Bobrovsky stopped every puck fired at him.
“If he’s not good in the first period, with their power play opportunities, we would have been in a very big hole,” said Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards. “In the first period, we were too sloppy. Some of the credit has to go to Detroit and how they played, but we’ve got to play better than how we played tonight.”
Columbus struggled to get the puck on net early on, getting its first shot on Jimmy Howard eight minutes into the game.
“You see your team compete and it makes you want to compete even harder out there for them and make saves,” Howard said. “We did a good job of getting on them quick but we took our foot off the gas a little bit, got into penalty trouble and you can’t do that in this league because they’ll make you pay.”
The Red Wings got on the board first early in the second on a goal by Brian Lashoff with assists from Mikael Samuelsson and Niklas Kronwall.
Detroit made it 2-0 with 5:54 left in the middle period after Ian White fired a one-timer set up by Johan Franzen to light the lamp. Datsyuk also helped set up the goal.
Columbus responded just 1:14 later when Cam Atkinson broke away and beat Howard to cut the deficit to one. The goal was Atkinson’s first of the year and Ryan Johansen and Derek Dorsett assisted the play.
The goal was a turning point for the Blue Jackets as momentum began to shift their way. With an energized crowd, Columbus began outhustling a stout Red Wings defense and started winning more of the battles for loose pucks.
“It was really big because at the time, there was no energy from the crowd,” Richards said. “We really didn’t give them many opportunities to stand up and cheer and Cam scored that goal and it kind of energized our guys.”
The final period saw eight penalties committed, five of them by Detroit, within a 14-minute span.
“It seemed like both teams were going into the box one right after the other, after the other,” said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. “I don’t know what to say, but they’re penalties because [the referees] called them.”
The Blue Jackets scored their first power play goal of the night just 3:24 into the third period when defenseman James Wisniewski ripped a slap shot from in front of the blue line to tie the game. Derick Brassard and RJ Umberger assisted the goal.
Columbus took the lead a little over five minutes later on its second power play goal.
Vinny Prospal found a loose puck in front of the net and beat Howard after Nikita Nikitin sent a shot over the net that bounced off the glass. Fedor Tyutin also assisted the goal.
The Red Wings scored the equalizer a little over five minutes later when Datsyuk took a pass from Kronwall and saw nothing but twine as he lit the lamp. Henrik Zetterberg also set up the goal.
Columbus had a chance to win the game in overtime with 3:17 left. The Blue Jackets had a 3-on-2 advantage, but Howard read the puck and made the save to end the scoring threat.
Detroit came close to scoring later in the overtime period when center Valtteri Filppula, in front of the net, tried to bury a puck past Bobrovsky, but the Blue Jackets defense cleared the puck away.
Atkinson went first for the Blue Jackets in the shootout and his shot was originally called a goal, but after officials reviewed the goal, it was overturned.
Damien Brunner was the fourth and final shooter for the Red Wings and his shot snuck behind Bobrovsky to end the game.
The Red Wings play their home opener on Jan. 22, hosting the Dallas Stars. The puck is scheduled to drop at Joe Louis Arena at 7:30 p.m.
Columbus plays again Jan. 23, heading to Phoenix to face off against the Coyotes. The action is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m.