Detroit at Columbus

Wings spoil Jackets' first home playoff game, grab 3-0 series lead wire reports

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Forget all that talk about a playoff series being a long haul. It's been a sprint so far for the Detroit Red Wings, and they are drawing close to the finish line of their first-round series with Columbus.

Henrik Zetterberg scored two goals and the reigning Stanley Cup champions dominated from beginning to end Tuesday night to beat the Blue Jackets 4-1 and grab a 3-0 lead.

 Series: Wings 3, Jackets 0 | Goldstein: Excitement didn't last long for home crowd | Talk!

"Everyone talks about a best-of-7. Really, it's a race to four," coach Mike Babcock said. "You want to get to four as fast as you can."

The first NHL playoff game at Nationwide Arena -- in the Blue Jackets' 659th game -- was a mammoth letdown for a franchise-record crowd of 19,219.

"It was an exciting game for the first playoff game in this building," said Zetterberg, whose empty-netter gave him 30 goals and 25 assists in his 64 playoff appearances. "The fans were excited. We tried to defeat that, too."

Daniel Cleary had a goal and two assists, Tomas Holmstrom scored 1:07 in for an early lift and Johan Franzen added two assists. The Red Wings can advance to the conference semifinals with a win Thursday night.

Almost no one is surprised. The Red Wings are an experienced, confident bunch who have barely allowed a younger team stocked with playoff rookies to breathe.

"There's something about experience," Babcock said. "In life, when you don't have it, you think it's overrated. When you have it, it's obviously very, very important."

Chris Osgood's shutout streak of 144 minutes, 27 seconds ended with 3:53 left when R.J. Umberger scored on a backhander off a rebound of Rick Nash's drive. The goal was almost identical to the only other score the Blue Jackets have in the series, when Umberger scored late in the second period of Game 1.

"We've been there, we know how difficult it is. Each game is a separate moment," Osgood said of the playoffs. "We played real well the first 10 minutes. We pressed them and got the early goal, which helped us a ton."

Osgood, who finished with 31 saves, stopped Kristian Huselius on two prime scoring chances within a minute in the first period, each of which would have tied it.

Since an embarrassing 8-2 home loss -- with Osgood in goal -- on March 7, the Red Wings have won the past four meetings with the Blue Jackets by a combined score of 16-2.

Rookie goaltender Steve Mason had 22 saves for Columbus.

"With the amount of skill [the Red Wings] have, they're going to put the puck in the net," he said.

The previous four times the Red Wings hit the road leading a first-round series 2-0, they lost. Not this time. Not even close.

A standing-room-only crowd roared at the start but the Red Wings got on the board quickly. Holmstrom skated down the left wing and fired a 50-foot shot that Mason deflected. The puck went to Marian Hossa at the right dot, who gained control of it before backhanding a high shot that skipped past Mason off the crossbar and along the goal line. Holmstrom was there to jam in the rebound.

After Detroit took eight of the first 11 shots with Columbus looking hesitant and jittery, the Blue Jackets had the next eight shots on Osgood.

But with less than a minute left in the first period, Franzen's shot from the right wing smacked into defenseman Mike Commodore and Cleary in the crease. Cleary collected the puck, spun and whipped a shot past Mason.

"We've played three games, we've had three great starts. And had nothing to show for it," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We've gotten discouraged because of that and it's affected our game."

A weird sequence led to the Red Wings' third goal. Commodore tried to check Cleary but missed, flipping over the short boards and onto the Detroit bench. Moments later, he made contact with Franzen, decking him behind the Columbus goal. But then he added another shot and was whistled for a delayed penalty. The Wings didn't stop skating, however, and Cleary tossed a centering pass to Zetterberg between the circles and his hard shot made it 3-0.

Now the Blue Jackets have their backs to the wall.

"We're in a sudden-death situation," Hitchcock said. "And I know what we're up against. We're up against a real good team."


  • A video pregame show featured references to famous upsets in sports with the tag line, "What if there were no underdogs?"
  • Umberger was leveled on an open-ice check by Brad Stuart. Woozy for a couple of minutes on the ice, he was able to return.
  • The Wings roster has a total of 40 Stanley Cup rings; the Blue Jackets have a combined four.
  • A Detroit fan tossed an octopus on the ice with a minute left and was ejected.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Henrik Zetterberg (left) celebrates one of his two goals with Dan Cleary. (AP)
Henrik Zetterberg (left) celebrates one of his two goals with Dan Cleary. (AP)
Detroit  (3-0) «2114
Columbus (0-3)0011
Three Stars
D. Cleary

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
C. Osgood

Saves: 31
Save Pct.: .969
R. Umberger

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
01:07Tomas Holmstrom (1), Backhand Shot. Assist: Hossa
19:14Daniel Cleary (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Franzen, Rafalski
13:55Henrik Zetterberg (2), Snap Shot. Assist: Cleary, Franzen
16:07Power Play - R.J. Umberger (2), Backhand Shot. Assist: Nash, Williams
19:29Henrik Zetterberg (3), Empty Net. Assist: Cleary
Penalty Summary
15:45Zetterberg, 2 min, Roughing
57.0Holmstrom, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
03:01Huselius, 2 min, Roughing
08:28Methot, 2 min, Cross-Checking
14:32Ericsson, 2 min, Cross-Checking
14:25Holmstrom, 2 min, Roughing
Shots On Goal
Chris Osgood60:00311
Steve Mason59:45223
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 19219
Referees - Brad Meier, Bill McCreary
Linesmen - Steve Miller, Mark Shewchyk
Other Games
SJ 4 Final
Ana 3
NJ 3 Final
Car 4
Pitt 3 Final
Phi 1
Van 3 Final
StL 2