Offensive Assault Downs Columbus
The Red Wings were coming off a dramatic 5-4 comeback win against Carolina and continued to light the lamp against the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets. Detroit came out firing and scored 4 goals before 10 minutes were gone in the game en route to a 7-2 victory which clinched their 21st straight playoff berth. They continued to dominate on both ends of the ice but some sloppy play in the third let Columbus take away Conklin's shutout bid.
Tomas Holmstrom opened the scoring just over a minute in with a power play goal from Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall. Just over four minutes later, Gustav Nyquist scored his first NHL goal off a beautiful spin-o-rama feed from Pavel Datsyuk. Tomas Holmstrom scored his second power play goal of the game at 8:55 off a pass from Zetterberg that was very similar to Datsyuk's. Less than a minute later Jiri Hudler scored from Filppula and Bertuzzi as the Wings continued applying constant pressure. Detroit outshot Columbus 15-4 in the opening period.
Detroit dominated the second period as well, sending 16 more shots on goal, while Columbus mustered 9. Steve Mason was chased eight and a half minutes in after Detroit scored two more goals two minutes apart. Nick Lidstrom scored his first goal since returning from an ankle injury from Zetterberg and Ian White. Brad Stuart scored his sixth of the year from Todd Bertuzzi and Val Filppula completing the scoring in the 2nd.
Columbus' best period was the third, outscoring Detroit 2-1 and outshooting the Wings 11-7. Pavel Datsyuk lit the lamp with his 18th just over a minute in from Zetterberg and Bertuzzi. The Blue Jackets finally capitalized just 19 seconds later when Mark Letestu sped into the Detroit zone and put the puck over Conklin's glove. Rick Nash closed the scoring with a beautiful rising slap shot at 10:32.
Detroit moves ahead of Nashville by one point and will journey to Columbus for a rematch Wednesday night.
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