The Columbus Blue Jackets have defeated the Detroit Red Wings five consecutive times, including a 3-2 road victory on Monday, and the streak will be on the line when the teams will play once again Tuesday at Detroit.
The Red Wings had a 37-29 advantage in shots on net but only had one goal to show for it until the final minute.
“We’ve still got to find a way to create more O-zone time and more pressure and more Grade A chances,” Detroit captain Dylan Larkin said. “These pucks are bouncing everywhere. The good news is for three games now our team has done it the right way.
“Yes, we have given up some goals but (there has been) lots of communication, lots of puck support and we’ve gotten out of our zone pretty efficiently.”
Monday’s game was tied 1-all after two periods, but the Blue Jackets scored twice in the first seven minutes of the third, then held off the Red Wings’ late push. Both teams are now 1-2.
“The second half of the game, they seemed to find their legs,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said about the Blue Jackets. “The second period, we turned too many pucks over. … For two games in a row, we’ve given up too many chances.”
Blashill had to do some line shuffling after he learned earlier in the day that forwards Robby Fabbri and Adam Erne were placed on the COVID-19 protocol list. Michael Rasmussen made his season debut and assisted on Bobby Ryan’s first-period goal.
“The one thing (Rasmussen) has done is play center throughout the whole camp,” Blashill said. “We’ll see how the lineup looks (Tuesday) but that’s what went into the decision.”
Bobby Ryan has scored three goals in his first two Red Wings games after collecting another in the final minute Monday. The veteran was signed as a free agent during the offseason after playing the last seven seasons with the Ottawa Senators.
“He’s been our best player the past two games,” Larkin said. “When he has the puck, he’s dangerous. When he doesn’t, he makes the right things happen. It’s a lesson for guys like myself and our (first line) to learn from.”
The Blue Jackets lost twice to Nashville this season after coming into the third period with the score tied. Third-period goals Monday by Alexandre Texier and Pierre-Luc Dubois allowed them to collect their first victory of the season. They are now 8-1-4 against Detroit since the start of the 2016-17 season.
“We talked about patience before the game. We talked about patience between the second and third period,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “Tex scored a big goal, well-deserved. He’s worked so hard in his shifts.”
Columbus gave up four third-period goals to the Predators in its previous outing, yet Tortortella felt his team played better that night.
Joonas Korpisalo helped to bail out his teammates on Monday with 35 saves.
“The best game we’ve played out of the three was the second game in Nashville,” Tortorella said. “I thought (Monday) was a sloppy game with the puck, so I changed the lines a bit in the middle of the game. I’m not sure what the lines will be for (Tuesday) night.”
–Field Level Media