(Sports Network) - The suddenly-surging Columbus Blue Jackets will take aim at
a fifth straight win when they close a home-and-home series Sunday in Detroit.
The Blue Jackets opened this series against the Red Wings with Saturday's 3-0
victory in Columbus. It was the fourth straight victory for the club, which
had won its previous three games past regulation and is 4-0-2 over its last
six outings. The Jackets had gone into overtime in five straight before
Columbus' recent success has helped pull the club out of the Western
Conference basement, as the Edmonton Oilers are now one point behind the Blue
Jackets for that dubious distinction.
The Blue Jackets are 4-0-1 in their last five meetings against Detroit and
they've already clinched this season's five-game series, which ends in
Sergei Bobrovsky earned his first NHL shutout with a 30-save performance in
Saturday's win over the Red Wings. Bobrovsky has won all four games during
Columbus' current streak and is 7-6-3 on the season.
Cam Atkinson, Jack Johnson and Nick Foligno provided the offense for the Blue
"It was nice. We know how good they are, and we expect a different team on
Sunday, but it was nice to get the first one at home in front of our fans,"
The Blue Jackets won Saturday despite playing without forwards Artem Anisimov
and Derek Dorsett, who were both injured Thursday against Vancouver. Anisimov
sat out with an undisclosed injury and is questionable for Sunday, while
Dorsett is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a fractured
Columbus was able to complete a four-game homestand with a perfect record on
Saturday, but the club has lost its last three tilts away from home. However,
the Blue Jackets' last road win came Feb. 21 in Detroit.
The Blue Jackets last won four in a row from March 1-8 of last season. The
club hasn't won five straight since Nov. 17-24, 2010.
Saturday's setback was Detroit's first regulation loss since Feb. 27 in Los
Angeles. The 3-0 defeat stopped a four-game point streak and also prevented
the Red Wings from winning three in a row for only the second time this
"I think they got a couple of gifts from us and capitalized on them," said Red
Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk. "We had enough chances to win the game, but shot
ourselves in the foot one too many times."
Jonas Gustavsson made just his second start of the season for the Red Wings on
Saturday and he stopped 21 shots in the loss. Jimmy Howard, who is 10-3-1 with
a 2.01 goals against average in his career against Columbus, is expected to
get the start Sunday.
The Red Wings have won two straight on home ice and are 4-0-1 over their last
five games as the host. They are 9-4-2 overall at Joe Louis Arena this season.
The Sports Network