After trading away their best player in the offseason, many still expected the Columbus Blue Jackets to remain in the basement of the NHL.
So far this season, the Jackets have proved that they are not the laughingstock that they used to be.
Artem Anisimov, who was acquired from the New York Rangers in a trade that sent Rick Nash to New York, scored twice and net minder Steve Mason stopped 32 shots as the Blue Jackets knocked off the Detroit Red Wings 4-2.
Playing in their second straight game, the Red Wings got on the board first at 8:36 of the first period when Johan Franzen beat Mason off of a rebound.
From there, the highly criticized Mason played like he did in the 2008-09 season. (Mason won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie that year, and he was also runner-up for Vezina Trophy).
The Jackets tied the game at 18:17 on a power play when he fired a one-timer past Jimmy Howard.
Anisimov scored his first goal of the night at 2:32 after he collected a giveaway by Niklas Kronwall and fired a wristshot past Howard.
"Their second goal was absolute garbage," Howard said. "It just sort of took the wind out of our sails."
Anisimov added his second goal at 17:18 after he beat Howard with a backhander.
Mark Letestu added a shorthanded tally at 13:25 of the third by sliding the puck between Howard's pads.
Damien Brunner scored his fourth goal of the year at 19:33 to make the margin 4-2.
Howard finished with 24 saves. When asked about his play, he replied, "Awful with a capital 'A.'"
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock refused to make any excuses after the loss.
"They had more energy, they played better and they got better and better as the game went on, and we got worse and worse," Babcock said.
NOTES: Brunner's goal marked the sixth straight game with at least one point…Kronwall's assist on Franzen's goal was his seventh assist in seven games…Brendan Smith left the game with a shoulder injury after getting hit by Derek MacKenzie in the first. He will be out 10-14 days, per Red Wings GM Ken Holland…there was a scary moment in the second when Wisniewski took a nasty spill into the boards and lay motionless for several minutes. He was able to skate off with the help of teammates.
- CBJ Artem Anisimov (2 goals)
- CBJ Steve Mason (W, 32 saves, .941 save percentage
- CBJ Jack Johnson (assist)