The Red Wings were able to escape Boston with a 3-2 victory yesterday afternoon for their fourth win of the season and second in a row. They look to push their win streak to three games this afternoon as former divisional foe Columbus comes into Joe Louis Arena.[singlepic id=71 w=484 h=280 float=center]
Matchup: Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Detroit Red Wings
Venue: Joe Louis Arena; Detroit, MI
Time: 8:00 PM EST
Television: Detroit- FSD; Columbus- Fox Sports Ohio
After scoring only eight goals in their first four games, the Detroit Red Wings (4-2-0, 8 points, 2nd place Atlantic Division) have been able to get consistent offense the past two games by netting eight goals. Lines were shaken up on the Red Wings after the offense failed to click in the four games to start the season. It appears the team has busted out of its offensive slump and will look to keep it going against former division opponent Columbus Blue Jackets (2-2-0, 4 points, 4th place Metropolitan Division).
The Blue Jackets are the one Eastern Conference team that will be familiar to the Red Wings. Along with the Red Wings, the Blue Jackets are the other team to change conferences in the offseason with the new alignment. Prior to this season, Columbus and the Red Wings shared a home in the Central Division and the Red Wings swept Columbus in their only playoff appearance.
The Red Wings come into this game off of a strong goaltending effort of Jonas Gustavsson along with offense from a few key players. Gustavsson was unaware that he was starting until 15 minutes prior to the game and he made his start count as he came up with big saves in the 3-2 victory.
Columbus comes into play tonight off of a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Boston Bruins on Saturday night. Offense has been somewhat of an issue for the Blue Jackets as they have only connected on 7 goals in their first four games.
Starting in net for the Red Wings will once again be Jonas Gustavsson as Jimmy Howard continues to nurse his bruised hand. Howard expects to be back in net for Thursday's game. In his career, Gustavsson is 0-2-0 with an .893 save percentage and a 3.04 GAA.
The Blue Jackets are expected to counter with Sergei Bobrovsky in net as he goes for his third win of the season. Bobrovsky has started all four games for the Blue Jackets up to this point and was a main reason why the team pushed for a playoff spot at the end of last season.
This is not the same bad Columbus team that fans are used to seeing in the past. Columbus is a good young team who will surprise many this season. It will be important to get on top of Bobrovsky early and fire many shots at him as he is a goalie who will not let many in.