Wings 5, Blue Jackets 2
Even after what I'm sure was an animated Mike Babcock during intermission, the Jackets continued their momentum into the second period, scoring just 36 seconds in. Chimera at 0:36, assists to Letowski and Hulse. On the play, Ledba got beat along the left wing on a breaking Chimera, whose reach on the puck was too long for a sprawling Lebda to disrupt the play. Chimera broke in alone and beat Ozzie. 2-0 Blue Jackets. The Wings' luck turned at 1:53 when the Blue Jackets' goalie Pascal Leclaire left with a neck injury after getting ran over by Franzen. Marc Denis, who has been played a lot recently and was meant to be given the night off, came in to replace his backup. He ended up giving up the next five goals in the game. Fedorov was called for hooking on the play which sent Franzen into Leclaire. At 3:07, the Wings capitalized on the power play on a blue line shot from Nicklas Lidstrom, with Holmstrom and Zetterberg screening Denis in front. Assists to Datsyuk and Holmstrom - but extra credit to Tomas for holding the puck in the zone twenty seconds earlier to keep the pressure building in the Jackets zone. 2-1 Blue Jackets. The Wings got the equalizer with another defenseman blast. At 7:57, Mathieu Schneider scored an even-strength goal, assists to Franzen and Lilja. On the play, Franzen did good work along the near boards in the Jackets zone, and fed the puck to a streaking Schneider up the middle. Mathieu must have blasted that puck 90+ mph, and it didn't help Denis that it deflected off a sprawling Fedorov, who tried to block it. 2-2 Wings. The Wings snuck in a third goal at 19:07 from Samuelsson, assists to Lang and Zetterberg. On the play, Lang threw the puck at the net from the near boards along the goal line, hitting defenseman Mike Rupp. Denis fell down searching for the puck, and Samuelsson was Johnny-on-the-spot to punch it in. 3-2 Wings. The only goal Fedorov wasn't on the ice or in the penalty box for. Shots in the period were 16-5 Wings. The third period was a good continuation of the majority of the second for the Wings - domination of the Blue Jackets on the backcheck, limiting them to only 3 shots in the final 20 minutes. The Wings scored at 4:19 on a goal from Lidstrom, his 2nd of the night, assists to Lang and Draper. On the play, the Jackets got caught down low, and Lidstrom blasted it in from the left wing. It knuckle-balled by Denis, beating him on the short side. Fedorov was on the ice. 4-2 Wings. At 14:26, the Wings scored a power play goal from Samuelsson, also his 2nd of the night, assists to Lang and Woolley. On the play, a Fedorov hooking call gave the Wings a power play chance, and they scored in the final four seconds of the man advantage. Samuelsson scored down low on the left side, threading the puck in a tiny open space above Denis' shoulder. 5-2 Wings. Shots in the period were 14-3 Wings, for a final 43-15 advantage. Says Fedorov:
"We came out flat. We weren't really skating at all. They played last night and seemed to carry that momentum over."
"It was great to have a 2-0 lead. Then we made some mistakes and they capitalized on them. We had a few chances. Not as many as they, but we didn't score. It was a tough break. I don't think we played as well in the second as the first."The Wings, though they started out slow, came through in the final 40 minutes and really dominated the Blue Jackets defensively. I can barely remember Osgood getting tested at all during the second or third period. Some positives on the night include Lang adding three assists, Franzen getting his first NHL assist on Schneider's goal, and Lidstrom scoring two goals to add to his always stellar defensive play. The Wings are now 4-0 against Columbus this season; 11-1-0 against the Central. Samuelsson's goals made for 26 points total this season, the most in his career. The Wings have now won their last five New Year's Eve games, and lead Nashville in the Central 55-51 . Lines Datsyuk-Shanahan-Lang Shanahan-Lang-Samuelsson Mowers-Zetterberg-Cleary Holmstrom-Zetterberg-Williams Zetterberg-Samuelsson-Lang Franzen-Draper-Maltby Datsyuk-Shanahan-Williams Mowers-Holmstrom-Cleary Draper-Zetterberg Maltby-Zetterberg D-parings Schneider - Chelios Chelios-Lidstrom Woolley-Schneider Lilja-Lidstrom Schneider-Lilja Chelios-Lebda Schneider-Lebda