Joey MacDonald, after being called up yesterday afternoon, made the start in place of the ailing Chris Osgood. He was spectacular in turning aside 37 shots in the victory.
The Wings netted their two goals early in the game and then turned it over to their third string netminder.
Valtteri Filppula scored on a nifty pass by Johan Franzen on the Wings first power play opportunity, and Drew Miller knocked in a Darren Helm rebound 33 seconds in.
MacDonald was more than able to carry the load tonight, earning the shutout with several big saves on Columbus scoring opportunities.He and the Wings penalty kill were perfect tonight. Their efforts were enough to secure Mike Babcock's 300th win as the Red Wings head coach.
There was one controversial play late in the third period with the Jackets desperate to snap the shutout. During a goal mouth scramble, the puck was swatted on net and under MacDonald's glove. He reached back and grabbed it as it was crossing the line, and his glove proceeded into the net.
However, due to the NHL's rule saying that you cannot simply infer that the puck is in the net based on the fact that you know it is in the glove, which is in the net, the ruling was no goal. Also, part of MacDonald's glove was sitting on the goal line, and if the puck had been touching the line it wouldn't have counted anyway, so the referees and the video review guys got this one right.
There was another scary moment for Wings fans late in the third as Brian Rafalski was involved in a collision along the end boards and went down awkwardly. He immediately began clutching his knee, but the severity of the injury is not yet known. He was helped off the ice. For a guy that just returned from an 8 game absence, and had 3 assists in the two games he played in since, this is a huge loss if he misses any time. Salei's trip to California to be with his new baby Ava might be cut short.
*Breaking* According to Head Coach Mike Babcock Rafalski "looks like he will be fine. Also, Datsyuk suffered an undisclosed lower body injury and left the game, and will be further evaluated.*
The Red Wings have now won 4 straight and are putting some distance between themselves and San Jose and Chicago, though catching Vancouver seems a distant memory.
The Off Wing View's Three Stars
3. Valtteri Filppula 1G - Filppula has now scored in consecutive games for the Wings
2. Drew Miller GWG, 5 PIM - Miller came just shy of the Gordie Howe hat trick
1. Joey MacDonald 37 saves - How much more can you ask for from your third string goalie?