NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, February 21st
(All times Eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (4-10-2) at Detroit Red Wings (7-6-3), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Columbus Blue Jackets hope that getting back two
players from injury can help them earn the first victory of their current road
trip as they visit the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday evening.
The Blue Jackets have opened a six-game swing with three straight losses out
west, falling to Los Angeles, Phoenix and Anaheim. They wrap the road trip
with contests in Detroit, St. Louis and Chicago and will have the services of
defenseman Cam Atkinson and forward Artem Anisimov beginning on Thursday.
Atkinson has missed the past 13 games with a lower body injury and will add
depth to a blue line that also saw the recent return of James Wisniewski
following a brief absence due to the birth of his first child.
Anisimov is also slated to get back in action after missing two straight
following a foot injury suffered when blocking a shot against the Kings.
It wasn't all good news for Columbus, which placed center Brandon Dubinsky on
injured reserve due to a sprained knee suffered versus the Coyotes.
Two of Anisimov's four goals this season came in a 4-2 home win over the Red
Wings on Feb. 2. That helped the Blue Jackets avenge a 4-3 shootout defeat to
Detroit in Columbus on Jan. 21, but the Red Wings have still won six of the
previous nine encounters.
Columbus has also lost three straight and 12 of its past 14 in Detroit.
The Blue Jackets have been out of action since a 3-2 loss to the Ducks on
Monday. Vinny Prospal scored 3:30 into the game for Columbus, but Anaheim lit
the lamp twice in a 21-second span near the end of the first and never
"They scored two quick goals and we came up short again. We have to find a way
to score more goals," said Derick Brassard, who also had a goal.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 26 shots in defeat, the Blue Jackets' sixth in their
last seven games. They have also dropped six of seven on the road this season.
The Red Wings hope to halt a four-game slide (0-2-2) and were dealt a 4-3
overtime loss by the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. Pavel Datsyuk tied the
game with 6:30 remaining in regulation, but the Preds' Shea Weber found the
back of the net 44 seconds into the extra frame.
The deciding goal was scored on Jonas Gustavsson, who made 16 saves after
relieving Jimmy Howard in the first period. Howard left with what the team
called an upper body injury.
"He got hit in practice I guess, and I didn't know about that," Red Wings
coach Mike Babcock said of Howard. "He wasn't seeing good, or something like
that. I was watching the game and someone told me. We made the switch and
tried to buy some time for Gus to get ready and put him in."
Datsyuk and Dan Cleary both had a goal and an assist, while former Predator
Jordin Tootoo also lit the lamp in the loss.
In addition to Howard, Mikael Samuelsson was hit in the hand during morning
skate on Tuesday and did not play against the Preds. It was the latest blow
for the Red Wings, who currently have five players on IR.
02/21 10:45:55 ET