The Detroit Red Wings are off to a red hot start to the season as they pound on the winless Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 at the Joe Louis Arena. Johan Franzen scored two power play goals and drew an assist while Valtteri Filppula scored a goal and added three assists for the Red Wings. Tomas Holmstrom had two assists while Jimmy Howard (4-0-0) stopped 32 shots for the win.
The bigger story was the Red Wings’ power play which has been in question so far. After starting the season 0 for 18 with the man-advantage, the Red Wings went 3 for 5 thanks to the two by Franzen which started the scoring for the home team.
The Red Wings (5-0-0) are off to their best start since they went 6-0-0 to start the 1972-73 season.
Pavel Datsyuk made it 3-1 for the home team at :27 into the second period. As Tomas Homstrom and Henrik Zetterberg tried to put the puck past Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason. Datsyuk found the loose puck and an open net and gave the Red Wings the two goal lead. The gloves were off later in the second period as the Blue Jackets’ Derek Dorsett and the Red Wings’ Jonathon Ericsson dropped the gloves with Ericsson getting the upper hand.
Nicklas Lidstrom also contributed to the power play cause as he scored at 7:46 of the third period as he rifled a shot past Mason. Franzen had a chance for the hat trick but as he was checked by Fedor Tyutin. That was when Filppula came in and put the puck in the empty net to put the cherry on top.
Derick Brassard and Aaron Johnson scored for the Blue Jackets and Mason made 28 saves in the loss.
The Red Wings take their 5-0-0 record to the nation’s capital later tonight as they face their toughest test to date. It will be a battle of the unbeaten teams as they face off against the Washington Capitals (6-0-0) at the Verizon Center. Alex Ovechkin is starting to find his scoring his touch as he netted two goals in his last game against the Philadelphia Flyers in a 5-2 win. Tomas Vokoun has been red hot for the Caps as he have gone 5-0-0 with a 1.95 goals against average.
Fabian Brunnstrom will make his Red Wing debut at the nation’s capital and he will be on the fourth line with Patrick Eaves and Cory Emmerton.
It will be a milestone game for Nicklas Lidstrom as he will play in his 1,500th NHL game. Lidstrom will move past Mike Modano for 14th on all-time list. He only trails Red Wing Hall of Famers Steve Yzerman and Alex Delvecchio for most games played for one team. Not too bad.
About the Author: Alex lives in Hockeytown, USA. He is a huge Red Wings fan going back to the 1985-86 season when they were dead last with 40 points. He has seen the transition from the 'Dead Wings' to one of the top franchises in sports. You can also follow him at twitter.com/alexmuscat73.