NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 9th (All times Eastern)
Detroit Red Wings (12-8-4) at Columbus Blue Jackets (8-12-4), 2 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Columbus Blue Jackets take aim at their first four-game winning streak in just over a year as they play host on Saturday to the rival Detroit Red Wings.
The Blue Jackets have won a season-high three games in a row and have a chance at a perfect four-game homestand this afternoon. Columbus has played five straight contests that have gone past regulation, losing a pair of overtime decisions prior to the win streak.
Matt Calvert was the hero on Thursday as he scored with 57 seconds left on the clock in a 2-1 overtime victory against the Vancouver Canucks.
The 23-year-old winger carried the puck along the right boards and fought through the defense before losing control of the puck in the Canucks zone. However, he was able to gather the disc and skate into the slot before roofing home his fourth goal of the season.
"That was my first overtime goal. It's probably not one you visualize before a game, or before overtime," Calvert said. "I got a few lucky bounces but after that it was just me and the goalie and I was fortunate enough to beat him."
RJ Umberger also lit the lamp for the Blue Jackets, who have won three straight for the first time since March 28-31 of last year. Their last four- game winning streak came earlier that month, from March 1-8.
Sergei Bobrovsky registered 34 saves in the triumph to improve to 4-1-1 in his last six appearances. He came off the bench to stop all 21 shots faced in Tuesday's shootout win over Edmonton and also got the start in last Sunday's victory over Colorado to begin this winning streak and four-game homestand.
The Blue Jackets will try to stay hot without right winger Derek Dorsett, who suffered a fractured clavicle in the victory and will miss the rest of the season. Dorsett had three goals and six assists in 24 games this season.
Columbus will take on Detroit in the fourth of five regular season meetings and the Blue Jackets are 3-0-1 in the last four meetings overall. They have followed up a shootout loss to the Red Wings on Jan. 21 with back-to-back wins.
Detroit has also racked up some wins over the past two weeks, going 5-1-1 in its past seven. The Red Wings claimed a 3-0 victory over the Oilers on Thursday as Jimmy Howard made 22 saves for his second shutout of the season and 13th of his career.
Howard has allowed just four goals in his past four games.
"It was a pretty complete game for us," Detroit head coach Mike Babcock said. "We didn't give up very much. Our goaltender was under way less stress than he was the other night and it was a good win for us to set us up for our road game."
Howard has started 21 of Detroit's 24 games in 2013, but he'll get a rest Saturday with backup Jonas Gustavsson expected to start in Columbus.
Detroit improved to 9-4-2 at home this season, but stands at just 3-4-2 on the road.
Jakub Kindl and Cory Emmerton each scored in the second period on Thursday, while Justin Abdelkader added an empty-netter with 1:10 remaining in the third period.
03/09 10:46:22 ET