Columbus Blue Jackets and the Detroit Red Wings faced off on Monday night. Coming off a great homestand, Detroit starts their road trip in Columbus. After winning 3 out of 4 at home, they look to carry solid momentum into this trip. The Blue Jackets however are closing out their four game home stand. They’ve lost the last two and hope to bounce back before heading on the road. Both of these teams have gone for a more youthful team over the last couple seasons. Their progressive youth movement has helped both of them be competitive early this season.
Even though this was their second meeting of the season. Both teams spent much of the first period getting a feel for each other. Back and forth with some sloppy passes and turnovers through the neutral zone was all that happened for much of the first. Only a couple decent looks developed as the game went on. Finally during one offensive pressure, Detroit caused a turnover with their forecheck. Off this turnover, Lucas Raymond slid a nice pass to Dylan Larkin who slammed it home on a nearly empty side of net. This was Larkin’s 4th goal in 4 games. The last few minutes of the period were uneventful as Columbus tried to rebound but couldn’t get much traction in the offensive zone. Detroit lead after one, 1-0.
Columbus came out firing for the second period. Their offense found some momentum and got a couple decent looks at a goal. Detroit’s goalie Thomas Greiss however had other ideas. He stood tall in net and was stopping everything. Detroit did have a few decent looks themselves. On one of the times Michael Rasmussen got the monkey off his back and picked up his first goal in 28 games. He appeared to have meant to dump it in off of the goalie but it snuck past Elvis Merzlikins. Goes to prove it is never a bad idea to fire it on net. Columbus finally got on the board. Boone Jenner found the puck in the crease with an empty net as Greiss was sprawled out. Now trailing by one they found their grove. Shortly after Adam Boqvist got his first goal as a Blue Jacket, getting it over Greiss’ shoulder from a tight angle. The period ended with a tie game.
After controlling the play during the second period, Columbus kept clicking and had some explosive chances early. Things however shifted as Detroit gained some momentum. Just as they got some good looks, including some on a power play, they took a penalty and lost their way a little. As even strength play resumed, Detroit’s offense started clicking again. The top line for the Red Wings kept buzzing. While they’re pressuring, Raymond broke the tie with his 7th goal of the season. The Blue Jackets responded quickly though when Yegor Chinakhov got his first goal of his NHL career. As time dwindled they didn’t want to let this game go to over time. Zach Werenski nabbed a stick from the bench after his broke, drove into the offensive zone and score his third of the year. Detroit pulled Greiss with over a minute left in hopes of getting it tied back up with an extra skater. Their plan backfired when Alexandre Texier found the empty net for a goal. Columbus won 5-3.
Columbus had some fight and grit in them as they came back from 2 down, and then 1 down to snag this win. They were aggressive on the forecheck and this game got crazy with some bounces and 2nd and 3rd chances for shots. Their game plan was simple and they played it well. Firing as much as they could and wearing out Greiss. This was a solid bounce back win from a difficult home stand. They now head out on the road and visit Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.
Detroit’s rookies continue to shine. Their top line has been dangerous consistently all season. On that line is Raymond who leads all NHL rookies in points with 17 this year. Their youth development has really helped them be competitive early this season. Even though they did struggle defensively and allowed the Blue Jackets to get back in and take the game they showed promise. They gave up too much control and couldn’t regain their composure. They look to rebound tomorrow night in Dallas.
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