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Detroit Red Wings Take on Struggling Columbus Blue Jackets in Crucial NHL Matchup

February 2nd, 2013 at 8:00 AM
By Frank Vajcner

What: Detroit Red Wings at Columbus Blue Jackets

When: 7 p.m. tonight

Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

TV: Fox Sports Detroit

Records: The Red WIngs are 4-2-1; the Blue Jackets are 2-5-1.

Coaches: Mike Babcock is 425-219-19-84 in his tenth season as a head coach, and 356-157-69 in his eighth season with the Red Wings. Todd Richards is 97-97-19 in his fourth season as a head coach, and 21-27-3 in his second season with the Blue Jackets.

Season series: The Red Wings lead the series 1-0.

Last meeting: The Red Wings won 4-3 in a shootout, as Damien Brunner scored the winning goal. The Wings got goals from Brian Lashoff, Ian White, and Pavel Datsyuk. The Jackets got goals from Cam Atkinson, James Wisniewski, and Vinny Prospal. 

Red Wings Update: The Red Wings are coming off of a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Blues. Henrik Zetterberg had a big game with a hat trick and five points. The game was also the sixth straight where Zetterberg has tallied at least one point. He leads the team in goals scored with five. Pavel Datsyuk leads in the points department with ten (3 goals, 7 assists). In addition, Damien Brunner has been riding a five-game point streak, and Niklas Kronwall has tallied six assists in six games. The Wings will be without Darren Helm (back), Ian White (leg), Mikael Samuelsson (groin), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder), and possibly Kent Huskins (upper body). If Huskins can't go, look for Lashoff to take his place. Jimmy Howard (4-2-1, 2.77 GAA, .907 save percentage) will start the second of a back-to-back. 

Blue Jackets Update: The Jackets are coming off of a 4-1 loss to the Blues Thursday night. Derick Brassard scored the lone goal in the game. The Jackets are led in scoring by defenseman Fedor Tyutin with five points (1 goal, 4 assists). Artem Anisimov, Prospal, and Mark Letestu are tied for the team lead in goals with two apiece. The Jackets lack offensive firepower, but have a solid core of defensemen with Jack Johnson, Wisniewski, Nikita Nikitin, and John Moore. Sergei Bobrovsky (2-2-1, 2.97 GAA, .907 save percentage)  started in net in the last meeting against the Wings. The Jackets will be without Atkinson (ankle) and Matt Calvert (lower body), and possibly Nikitin (head) and Adrian Aucoin (lower body).

Prediction: The Jackets have been playing better than expected, but they still lack the scoring depth. Look for the Red Wings to get a win at Joe Louis South.

Make it: Red Wings 4, Blue Jackets 2.

Season Prediction Record: 4-3-0


Tags: Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, NHL

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