It's the second half of a back-to-back as the Red Wings meet an old division foe in the Blue Jackets tonight.
What: Columbus Blue Jackets at Detroit Red Wings
When: 8 p.m. tonight
Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
TV: Fox Sports Detroit
Records: The Red Wings are 4-2-0; the Jackets are 2-2-0
Coaches: Mike Babcock is 449-238-19-90 in his 11th season as a head coach, and 380-176-75 in his ninth season with the Red Wings. Todd Richards 121-111-25 in his fifth season in the NHL, including 44-40-9 in his third season with the Blue Jackets.
Season Series: The Red Wings went 1-3-1 against the Jackets last season. The only win was a shootout win.
|Henrik Zetterberg||Pavel Datsyuk||Todd Bertuzzi|
|Johan Franzen||Stephen Weiss||Justin Abdelkader|
|Daniel Cleary||Joakim Andersson||Daniel Alfredsson|
|Drew Miller||Luke Glendening||Jordin Tootoo|
|Niklas Kronwall||Jonathan Ericsson|
|Kyle Quincey||Danny DeKeyser|
|Jakub Kindl||Brian Lashoff|
|Jonas Gustavsson (Starting)|
|Cam Atkinson||Brandon Dubinsky||Marian Gaborik|
|Sean Collins||Ryan Johansen||R.J. Umberger|
|Boone Jenner||Artem Anisimov||Mark Letestu|
|Blake Comeau||Derek MacKenzie||Jared Boll|
|Fedor Tyutin||Jack Johnson|
|Ryan Murray||James Wisniewski|
|Nikita Nikitin||David Savard|
Red Wings Update: The Wings are fresh off of a big win against the Boston Bruins yesterday. Henrik Zetterberg, Stephen Weiss, and Dan Cleary all scored, while Jonas Gustavsson stopped 28 shots in a surprise start. Zetterberg has been the catalyst on offense for the Wings, as he leads the way in scoring with seven points (5 goals, 2 assists). Pavel Datsyuk (6 points-2 goals, 4 assists) has also been scoring at the rate of a point per game. Patrick Eaves (knee) and Darren Helm (groin) remain out, while Jimmy Howard (hand) is also out for tonight, hence Gustavsson getting the call again. The Wings also recalled Petr Mrazek from Grand Rapids to serve as the backup.
Blue Jackets Update: The Jackets proved that they weren't the doormat of the NHL last season, as they came oh-so-close to making the playoffs. However, they still look like a middle of the pack team in the Metropolitan Division. They are coming off of a 3-1 loss to the Bruins, where they gave up three unanswered goals. Jack Johnson scored the lone goal, while reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 33 shots. Offensively, they have been led by Marian Gaborik (6 points-2 goals, 4 assists). The Jackets have been decimated with illness/injuries as Matt Calvert (abdominal) and Nick Foligno (personal) are out for tonight. Gaborik (flu) and Blake Comeau (ankle) are listed as questionable. Sean Collins and Ryan Craig were recalled from the AHL to play tonight.
What to Watch For:
Assistance from Alfie: Daniel Alfredsson still hasn't found the back of the net yet with the Red Wings, despite having five assists. Four of those have come in the last two games. It's only a matter of time before he puts the puck in the net.
Feed the Mule: Like Alfredsson, Johan Franzen still has yet to score a goal this season. Franzen could lose the donut tonight, as he has 15 goals in 47 games against the Jackets in his career.
I Believe I Can Fly. Many Red Wings fans remember this from a time when Gaborik was with the Minnesota Wild. It's not likely that Gustavsson does something similar, but you never know.
The Kids are All Right: In addition to call-ups Collins and Craig, the Jackets have two intriguing rookies in forward Boone Jenner and defenseman Ryan Murray. The latter two were high draft picks and could be cornerstones of the team in the future. Murray has an assist this year, while Jenner is still looking for his first career NHL point.
Them's Fightin' Words! In five games between both teams last season, there were three fights. Jordin Tootoo and Jared Boll dropped the gloves on the opening faceoff in the first meeting, then Tootoo and Derek Dorsett (now with New York Rangers) fought in February, and Brendan Smith and Derek MacKenzie fought in March. If anyone fights, it will likely be Tootoo and either Boll or MacKenzie.
Prediction: The Blue Jackets have gone from laughingstock to just outside of the playoffs in two seasons. While this team might be better than last year, so are the Red Wings who have found their stride on offense. Even with Gustavsson starting a second straight game, look for the Red Wings to protect home ice like the Detroit Tigers protect home field with Justin Verlander on the mound.
Make It: Red Wings 3, Blue Jackets 2
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