Columbus at Detroit

Red Wings score three in 76 seconds in third to put away Blue Jackets

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- After clinching a playoff spot, the Detroit Red Wings needed two periods to get back up to speed against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Tomas Holmstrom scored twice and Dan Cleary added a goal in a 1:16 span of the third period in Detroit's 4-3 comeback victory over Columbus on Wednesday.

Western Conference
SeedTeamGPPTSROW
1p-Chicago487730
2y-Anaheim486624
3y-Vancouver485921
4x-St. Louis486024
5x-Los Angeles485925
6x-San Jose485717
7x-Detroit485622
8x-Minnesota485522
Eliminated
9o-Columbus485519
10o-Phoenix485117
11o-Dallas484820
12o-Edmonton484517
13o-Calgary484219
14o-Nashville484114
15o-Colorado483914
Complete Playoff Race

Niklas Kronwall had a goal and an assist, and Jimmy Howard made 21 saves for the Red Wings in their final home game of the regular season.

"They did that [relax] for the first 40 minutes," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "But they've got enough pride and leadership to get the win."

Michael Blunden had a goal and an assist, R.J. Umberger, Sammy Pahlsson also scored, and Steve Mason stopped 31 shots for Columbus.

"They turned it on in the third period," Blue Jackets defenseman Mike Commodore said. "Not a big surprise. It's what they do."

Holmstrom's power-play goal tied it at 2 at 8:05 of the third period. Henrik Zetterberg's shot deflected in off Holmstrom's skate.

Umberger then took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty because he was the most vehement of the Columbus players who argued that Holmstrom backed into the crease and into Mason.

"It was a screen in front of the net," said Holmstrom, who has four goals and seven assists in his last eight games.

Commodore said the rugged Red Wings forward has been getting away with similar tactics for his entire career.

"He's been doing that for 15 years, however long. He's probably not going to change," Commodore said.

It took only 40 seconds for Holmstrom to demonstrate more of his net-front skills as he deflected Nicklas Lidstrom's one-time slap shot past Mason for Holmstrom's 24th goal, also on the power play. Cleary capped the outburst with his 15th goal, on a wrist shot from the high slot, at 9:21.

"It's good to get on a roll going into the playoffs. We just need to build off this," Howard said. "Friday night [in Columbus] I think we need to stick to our game plan a little bit better, start playoff hockey and that's getting the pucks in deep and just work them, throwing them to the net and getting dirty goals."

Blunden brought the Blue Jackets within one with 9:47 left with his second goal.

"No one in this locker room is happy about our season," he said. "We want to build on what we can for next season."

Columbus led 2-1 after the first period.

Kronwall opened the scoring 2:32 into the game, beating Mason with a wrist shot from the high slot after taking a drop pass from Todd Bertuzzi.

Umberger tied it for the Blue Jackets at 8:58 with his 23rd goal. He intercepted Lidstrom's pass in the neutral zone, headed into the Detroit zone, cut around Lidstrom and put a shot past Howard from the bottom of the right circle.

Pahlsson gave Columbus the lead with 1:28 left in the opening period. He picked up a loose puck and put it in from the inside edge of the left circle.

"It was really disappointing, especially the first period. We still got the first goal but we didn't play good at all," Holmstrom said. "We were coughing up pucks, I think we had 17 turnovers in the first period. Lucky we pulled this one out."

Notes

  • Columbus RW Rick Nash missed his second game because of a sore neck and back.
  • Red Wings' RW Patrick Eaves has dual loyalties in the NCAA Frozen Four, which is being held at Detroit's Ford Field this weekend. The field includes Boston College, where Eaves played, and Wisconsin, where his father, Mike Eaves, coaches. Eaves visited the practices of those teams during the day Wednesday.
  • Blue Jackets D Kris Russell returned after missing two games because of an arm/wrist injury.
  • Eaves and Russell fought with 4:27 left in the first period.
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Niklas Kronwall (top) scores Detroit's first goal and helps set up the second. (Getty Images)
Niklas Kronwall (top) scores Detroit's first goal and helps set up the second. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Columbus (32-35-14)2013
Detroit  (42-24-14) «1034
Three Stars
T. Holmstrom
DET


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
P. Eaves
DET


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
M. Blunden
CLB


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:32Niklas Kronwall (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bertuzzi, Stuart
08:58R.J. Umberger (23), Snap Shot, Unassisted.
18:33Samuel Pahlsson (3), Snap Shot. Assist: Blunden, Kana
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
08:05Power Play - Tomas Holmstrom (22), Snap Shot. Assist: Zetterberg, Kronwall
08:45Power Play - Tomas Holmstrom (23), Slap Shot. Assist: Lidstrom, Franzen
09:21Daniel Cleary (15), Snap Shot. Assist: Helm
10:13Michael Blunden (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kana, Pahlsson
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
15:33Russell, 5 min, Fighting
15:33Eaves, 5 min, Fighting
15:33Dorsett, 2 min, Roughing
19:03Blunden, 2 min, Boarding
2ND PERIOD
05:29Ericsson, 2 min, Hooking
13:42Sestito, 2 min, Hooking
15:07Methot, 2 min, Holding
15:07Bertuzzi, 2 min, Holding
3RD PERIOD
06:46Blunden, 2 min, Tripping
08:05Umberger, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
09:21Brassard, 10 min, Misconduct
Shots On Goal
 123T
Columbus99624
Detroit1191535
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Steve Mason59:03314
Jimmy Howard59:41213
Game Information
Attendance - 20066
Referees - Paul Devorski, Wes McCauley
Linesmen - Greg Devorski, Scott Driscoll
 
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