The Detroit Red Wings (15-3-4) bounced back from Wednesday night's home loss with a 5-3 win Friday night against fellow Central Division opponent, the Columbus Blue Jackets (9-10-3).
After Columbus had called a timeout with just over two minutes remaining in the game, Marian Hossa grabbed the loose puck off the face off and scored the game-winning goal from a bad angle. It was Hossa's second goal of the night giving him first star honors.
Teammate Henrik Zetterberg also had a good night with the Wings' first goal (on the power-play) and then later assisting on Jiri Hudler's power-play goal in the second. Kris Draper scored his first goal of the season with 6.2 seconds left and while it was an empty netter, everyone is hoping that it will get the monkey off his back allowing him to relax and play with greater confidence.
Mikael Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk each had two assists. Chris Osgood only made 13 saves in the effort. WXYT, the radio station that does the call of the game, named Andreas Lilja as the defensive player of the game. Not only did he finish with two hits and 14:30 of ice time, but he also stood up for his teammates when he fought Jared Boll, who led the league in penalty minutes last season. I have ragged on Lilja many times in the past so I must say that he has been playing much better of late. Good for him.
Detroit had a strong special teams outing tonight as they went 2-for-5 on the power play and successfully killed off all six of Columbus' power plays.
Dan Cleary made his first appearance in eight games with 14:53 minutes of ice time, one assist, and finished the game plus-one. Darren McCarty was a last minute scratch as he suffered a groin injury during the morning skate. Yes, this was the groin injury that resulted in him missing the first two weeks of the season. Detroit will likely just keep Derek Meech up as a forward for now with McCarty out of the lineup.
On nights like these, I start to worry about the decisions GM Ken Holland has to make this offseason. Which player do you keep? Franzen, Hossa, Zetterberg, Samuelsson, and Hudler (RFA) are all up this summer. I think most fans would be okay with losing Sammy. Huds has really come into his own and will be cheaper so keep him. But with the cap only going up a little, if at all with the poor economy, which players will re-sign with the Wings? Hossa has been the man this season, but you know the Wings will re-sign Zetterberg (a future captain). And having a strong power forward like Johan Franzen has been the type of player that the Wings have been missing and needing for quite a few years (if you ask me). I know that this is a great problem to have, but on nights like this where all of them play really well - I can't decide which one should go and I don't envy Holland's position this summer.
Christy's Player of the Game: Marian Hossa
|2008 - Marian Hossa||22||13||13||26||8||18||2||0||3||0||92||14.1|
Come back on Saturday evening when the Wings take on the Boston Bruins!