The Red Wings come in looking to avoid starting a losing streak, as they have dropped back-to-back in games they really played well in. The Blue Jackets meanwhile are 6-2-2 their last 10 and are 1-point behind the Capitals for the division lead.
For me, this game is the final test. We’ve seen it the past few years from the Red Wings, they get hot early in the year than fall of the map. We’re reaching December and this team seems like they are only getting better. Remember the season opener? The Wings looked like they didn’t even belong on the same ice as Columbus, even though they lost in a shootout. If they play well again tonight, I truly may start believing this team is ahead of schedule. To the game we go.
Bob vs. Howie. LGD vs. Jenner. We’re underway from Little Caesars arena. Wings not looking good right away, Rasmussen heads to the box 34 seconds in for a very blatant cross-check. Pierre-Luc Dubois missed an open net on a scoring chance and right after Atkinson takes a penalty. We go 4-on-4 for 22 seconds before the Red Wings get their first PP. Hopefully this doesn’t turn into a whistle frenzy. Larkin circled the entire zone and hit an open Nyquist in the slot who somehow missed the net. Wow. A beautiful feed by Panarin, who sent it the length of the ice off the boards behind Howard, for Dubois who torched Dekeyser to beat the icing and played it perfectly off the bounce to bury it. 1-0 Columbus.
Just getting absolutely outplayed now, as the Blue Jackets swarming and Josh Anderson buries one off a 2-on-1 after he took the puck from Vanek at the blue line. 2-0 Blue Jackets, not good. Finally our 1st TV timeout with 8:45 to go in the 1st. 8-1 shots too in favor of the team from Ohio. Quickly after that, we hit the 2nd TV timeout, not much happened outside of a great individual effort by Larkin to create space on a scoring chance in the high slot that Bobrovsky barely got a piece of.
Wow, the Wings almost with a huge break as the puck ricocheted of the boards, bounced in front of Bobrovsky, who deflected it away right to Vanek who missed the net, and THEN they followed up with a quick chance in front by Frk. Nothing went in. Ay yi yi. Much more of the same as the Red Wings still don’t look great, they now take a delayed penalty as we reach the final TV timeout of a forgettable 1st Period.
And it’s 3-0. PP goal after the Wings left Panarin wide open at the top of the circle. His shot went right off of Howard’s glove and in with Jenner screening in front. Larkin AGAIN, circles the zone, this time finds an open Mantha in the slot and Bobrovsky robbed him with the right pad. Can’t buy a goal right now when they desperately need one. Back-and-forth the teams go with chances, including Larkin with a half-breakaway he was challenged on by Ryan Murray and couldn’t finish. That’ll do it. Scoreboard doesn’t tell the whole story, but when you can’t finish and aren’t defending, this is the outcome. Hoping for a better 2nd Period.
Shots: 16-9 CBJ
Score: 3-0 CBJ
Bernier is now in net for the Wings, figured this was coming. BAM! Nyquist with one of the best deflections you’ll ever see off a shot from the point by Dekeyser and he goes bar down 46 seconds in. Huge goal. 3-1 Columbus. Game has slowed down a bit since, not much action at all as we’re now 5 minutes in. Ah, spoke too soon. Markus Nutivaara with a shot from the point that went in when it definitely shouldn’t have. 4-1 CBJ. 1st TV timeout finally.
Oh man, 5-1 Columbus. A 4-on-2 turns into a 3-on-1 and Murray finds Jenner who buries it into an open net. Hey look we scored soon after. Mike Green picked off an easy pass and sniped one past Bobrovsky. 5-2 CBJ. Wings almost gave Columbus the goal right back on the same exact play, but Bernier was able to make the save. 2nd TV timeout.
For as bad as the scoreboard is, outside of the 5/10-minute stretch of playing really bad in the 1st, this has been a decently close game. The only difference is Columbus has been able to finish on their chances and the Red Wings haven’t. Larkin now heading to the box for a high stick. Good job by the Wings PK as they kill it pretty easily. Larkin with another chance on a quick shot from the dot, but again Bobrovsky with the big save. Just. can’t. finish! Back-to-back 4-on-2’s now by both teams. Vanek missed the net for the Wings and Panarin fanned on his wide-open chance for the Jackets.
Atkinson interferes with Kronwall and right away on the power play, Cholowski with a laser from the point!!!! Rasmussen provided the screen in front, but it doesn’t look he touched it. 5-3 Columbus now. Welp, he giveth and taketh away as his next shift Cholowski takes a penalty. Wings do a great job killing it to get to the period’s end, but the Jackets will have 22 seconds of carry over time to start the 3rd. This game is not quite over.
Shots: 24-23 DET
Score: 5-3 CBJ
Wings end up killing off the penalty with ease to start the 3rd. HOLY MOLY WE AREN’T DEAD YET! Larkin drops one for Mantha on a 2-on-2 and Mo absolutely rips one through a screen to make it a ONE GOAL GAME. 5-4 Blue Jackets. Crowd has woken up at LCA too, delayed penalty coming up to Columbus now as well! Larkin again (he is so freakin’ good) just skates by Jenner who has to grab him to slow him up. We’re barely a minute into the 3rd. A very hectic PP with a couple decent looks, but not a real great one overall as we get nothing on the board. Uh oh. A shot hits the post from Columbus as then a mad scramble ensues in front. They end up scoring, but I’m not sure if the whistle went or not. No one knows what’s happened. And, okay, they call it a goal on the ice after all of that. Now they’ll call Toronto. So the goal does count and I have no idea why it would or wouldn’t have. One of the stranger plays/calls I’ve ever seen. 6-4 Columbus. K.
1st TV timeout with 11 minutes to go in the game. Game really has slowed down since the Mantha goal, even with the Jackets goal sandwiched in the middle of all of this. Now 9 minutes to go and the Wings really need to start pushing. They definitely are starting to dictate puck possession, but the Blue Jackets are denying anything from entering and getting set up in their zone. 2nd TV timeout, 6:29 to go.
Still nothing going in a super tight game with under 4 minutes to go now. Things really looking bleak, especially down 2. Bernier to the bench with 2:45 to go in the game. BOOM!!! MANTHA AGAIN!!! After they couldn’t get anything going, another wicked wrister goes in. 6-5 Jackets with 2:12 to go. Oh man. Icing by Columbus with 1:38 left. And of course, Seth Jones goes the full 200 feet into the empty net. 7-5 Columbus. That will do it. Can’t keep falling behind early and expecting to come back.
Score: 7-5 CBJ