Going into this weekend, it seemed like the Detroit Red Wings were in for a serious fight to hold off the latest upstart threats to their Central Division throne, the Columbus Blue Jackets. While it’s far too early to say that the battle is over, sweeping the two teams’ home-and-home series clearly makes Detroit the cream of the crop. (As usual.)
The Red Wings showered shot after shot on Steve Mason in today’s game and while the young goalie was pretty strong (he stopped 38 out of 41 shots), he couldn’t shut down the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.
After Derick Brassard gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead, Detroit scored three unanswered goals (Niklas Kronwall, Darren Helm and Valtteri Filppula). Kronwall and Helm actually scored their goals just 14 seconds apart. Antonie Vermette brought Columbus within one by scoring on the power play with about 1:30 left in the third, but Danny Cleary scored an empty-netter to clinch it.
Jimmy Howard made 27 saves to earn the team’s second straight win and improve their home record to an astounding 10-1-2.
The Red Wings now have a four point lead over the Blue Jackets, with one more win and a game in hand. The only thing that’s really going against Detroit right now is that they’ve played 13 out of 21 games at home, so they’re going to have to hold their lead on the road. (This is more of a big picture problem, though, as Columbus played 12 games at home to 10 on the road.)
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger