Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Columbus Blue Jackets hosting the Detroit Red Wings starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:
• Tonight’s game pits divisional rivals from 2000-01 (when Columbus entered the league as an expansion team) through 2012-13, when they played in the Central Division. The two teams departed the Western Conference to join the Eastern Conference in separate divisions for the 2013-14 season.
• On Sunday, Red Wings winger Gustav Nyquist scored two goals (his 22nd and 23rd of the season), making it goals in five consecutive games (the longest active goal streak in the NHL) for the Swede. The last time a Red Wings player scored goals in six straight games was Dan Cleary, Nov. 5-17, 2010.
• Nyquist came into the season with four goals in 40 career games over two seasons, and he didn’t make his season debut until Nov. 21 (Detroit’s 23rd game). He scored five goals in his first 23 games, but has 18 goals in his last 23 games since Jan. 20, the most in the NHL over that span. Elias Sports Bureau
• The reigning Vezina Trophy winner, Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, has been a workhorse since returning from a groin injury that sidelined him from Dec. 6-Jan. 4, appearing in 27 of 29 games. The Russian Olympian has made 18 straight starts (10-6-2, 2.20 GAA, .934 save%, one shutout during that span), the most by any goaltender in the NHL this season. Elias Sports Bureau
• Red Wings center David Legwand carries a six-game point streak vs. Columbus into tonight’s game. Legwand is the leader among active Red Wings with 49 points in 63 games vs. the Blue Jackets (21- 28=49). All but one of those points (an assist) came while Legwand was a member of the Nashville Predators, prior to his March 5 deadline-day trade to Detroit. Legwand has seven points (two goals) in helping the Red Wings to a 5-3-2 record since the deal.
• Much in part to 350 man-games lost to injury entering tonight (second-most in the NHL, Pittsburgh – 438), seven different Red Wings have made their NHL debuts this season, the most for the franchise since 1990-91 (14). That number could go up to eight if Mitch Callahan, called up on Monday, plays. In the past two seasons, only five Blue Jackets have made their NHL debuts. The only healthy players in tonight’s game who debuted this season are Luke Glendening (DET) and Boone Jenner (CBJ).
• The Blue Jackets have gone nine games and 36 power-play opportunities since center Artem Anisimov scored with a Columbus man advantage on Mar. 4, the day before the NHL trade deadline. They are closing in on a franchise record for power-play futility (42 consecutive failed chances, Mar. 9- Apr. 1, 2011). Their breakthrough could come tonight, as the Red Wings have allowed a power-play goal in five straight games.
• With a regulation victory, Columbus would tie Detroit with 80 points, with the Blue Jackets holding the tiebreaker over their fellow Eastern Conference newcomers (more non-shootout wins). Since entering the league as an expansion team in the 2000-01 season, Columbus has never finished above Detroit in the final regular-season standings.