Tonight is the fourth of eight games between these two Central Division teams this season. The Wings have won three in a row against the Blue Jackets, starting with a 6-0
shutout October 20th and a 6-2
win on the 24th. They beat the Jackets in the first shootout in franchise history on December 20th, 4-3
The Wings are on a four-game winning streak, beating Tampa Bay
, Columbus, Chicago
over that span. The Wings were greatly out-played in their wins over the Jackets and Hawks but they controlled the Stars game much more, beating a more worthy opponent 4-1. Tonight will be the 60th New Year's Eve game, one that has become essentially a yearly tradition since 1950
. Detroit is 30-21-8 on December 31st and are on a four-game winning streak in those games as well.
After the Wings beat them in the shootout, the Jackets went on to drop two more games, to the Stars and to Nashville. On Monday, they hosted the Blackhawks and won 4-3 in overtime. It was the beginning of a three-game win-streak, which includes victories over Anaheim and another over Chicago last night. Not exactly wins over the cream of the crop but they do have momentum, as do the Wings. It's the longest win streak of the season for the Jackets.
Chris Osgood will get another start in net for the Wings, with Manny Legace headed down to GR for a conditioning stint and Joey MacDonald backing him up.
The paper reports that Steve Yzerman is expected to take part in the pre-game skate tonight.
Hopefully, the Wings can pick up where they left off against the Stars and continue playing well tonight against the Jackets. Columbus will play hard, like the last time they were in Detroit, so it won't be easy but the Wings should be able to win one for the home crowd. Last season's game against the Thrashers
on New Year's Eve was one of the most exciting games of the year. I doubt we'll have that this time around but it probably won't be boring either.