The shootout has not been nice to the Red Wings once again. After a battle with the hot Columbus Blue Jackets, a run to the shootout ended in their defeat as Boone Jenner scored the game winner to give the Blue Jackets their seventh straight win with a 1-0 score at Joe Louis Arena Tuesday. Sergei Bobrovsky earned his team the big win as he and Jimmy Howard played wonderful defense with one having to lose.
Justin Abdelkader returned to the Red Wings lineup for the first time in seven games as his absence has been showing in the way that Detroit plays without him. The tenacity he brings to the game is one that has been putting the Red Wings in a downspin as they dropped their last three straight, most coming in a shootout. They face the Columbus Blue Jackets who are on a lengthy six game winning streak with Bobrovsky playing stellar in net. Howard tries to get back to winning as he has recorded three losses in five games.
The first period was slow between both teams as the defense was maintaining a fight in the neutral zone for puck possession. There were a few shots on the net with Detroit recording the most attempts but no goals were made through twenty minutes Detroit outshot them 7-6 while dealing with hard hits from the Blue Jackets.
The second started differently battle ensued for the go ahead goal with the Blue Jackets taking huge chances near the net were saved by Howard who continued to bring his goaltending to another level with either team gaining the upper hand. Columbus showed some pressure in the Detroit zone nearly putting one behind Howard but they were denied as the Red Wings began to take shots on Bobrovsky where the former Vezina trophy winner dealt with their scoring chances appropriately. Columbus took their shots to Howard where he made to big saves laying out to make the glove stop on Brandon Dubinsky and Nick Foligno. Both teams gained time on the man advantage but it wasn’t enough to break the run that both goaltenders were having on a night that was turning into an interesting game with no score change.
With 20 minutes left in regulation, the the game lead as the referee blew the whistle before the puck crossed the line. Gustav Nyquist nearly had the goal for the Red Wings as he took a chance on a window of opportunity but aimed a couple inches off the goal.
Time was falling off the clock and neither team had scored leading both teams to overtime where Detroit has not been at their best. Howard made two big saves during the five minute period as the Blue Jackets were taking the game to their end erasing the five minute period. It became Detroit’s 100th shootout of all time and let Columbus go first where Howard stopped Cam Atkinson. Pavel Datsyuk lifted the puck high enough to freeze up Bobrovsky. Johansen pulled off the same move and tied the shootout. Jenner scored the game winner putting it on the top shelf. The Red Wings are now a miserable 1-6 in the shootout.
Bobrovsky earned his twelfth win making 30 saves on the night and has won six in a row since the beginning of December. Howard stopped 29 for his third consecutive loss where he isn’t at fault as a whole. “Jimmy was very impressive today made key saves after key saves and unfortunately we couldn’t get the two points for him tonight,” said Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg in his post game thoughts to reporters. “The Columbus we saw today is the kind of team that they are. They did a good job keeping us from the second chances they were boxing us out really good.”