The Detroit Red Wings, backed by a "Monster" in Jonas Gustavsson, come away with a 2-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Staying true to their trademark, the Red Wings were slow out of the gate tonight. The offense was sparked, but they didnt do anywhere near as good a job holding the zone or blocking shots as they did against Boston yesterday afternoon. They managed to open the scoring, though, and it was from one of the newbie-Wings. At 5:05, just after the expiration of a power play, Daniel Alfredsson picked up a loose puck in the slot point-blank in front of the net and hammered home his first as a Red Wings past Sergei Bobrovsky to make it 1-0 Detroit. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg picked up the assists. Jonas Gustavsson came up huge through the period, making many key saves to hold the 1-goal lead, as the two teams left the ice with Detroit trailing in shots 18-7.
The first 10 minutes of the second period were much of the same sloppy play by the Red Wings, which resulted in the first Columbus goal of the night. At 7:48, Cam Atkinson brought the puck from his own zone single-handedly through the neutral zone and into the Wings zone, gets around 3 defenders and put the puck up on Gustavsson's leg, eventually knocking in the rolling puck to make it a 1-1 game. It would be short-lived, though, as at 11:14, in a mad scrum in front of the net on another Red Wing power play, Zetterberg threw the puck at Bobrovsky, and in the mad scramble he inadvertently kicked his pad back and knocked the puck into their net. It initially appeared as if Datsyuk poked the puck in between Bobrovsky's legs, but the goal was eventually credited to Todd Bertuzzi for getting a backhand-smack on the puck in front of the net. Shots after two periods were 26-20 Columbus.
While some of the sloppy play from earlier in the game made an appearance in the third period, the Red Wings managed to tighten up greatly, and Gustavsson had probably the best save of the season so far to keep the game from getting tied up. After a 46-second 6-on-5 at the end of the game, the Red Wings managed to hold on through the barrage to come out with a 2-1 win, and come away on a 3-game winning streak.
This was Gustavsson's game. He came up so big for them tonight. He stopped 36 of 37 shots and came away with a huge win. I think all Wings fans are more comfortable with him being our backup after tonight.
Next game will be Thursday night in Colorado to take on the red-hot Avalanche. See you then, Nation!