Sunday, February 13, 2011

Boston Bruins (at) Detroit Red Wings, February 13, 2001: The Live Blog

Pre-Game Skate:  The Wings and Bruins play for the second time in 3 days here this afternoon.  It's a 12:30pm start and as a result, we are all out of synch.  The pre-game meal in the press room was eggs.  What's up with that?  We'll try our best to adjust and to get it together.  It's just a hockey game, after all.  The Wings drubbed the Bruins Friday night at whatever it is they are calling the Boston Gardens these days, 6-1.  Detroit, however, is just 5-5 in their last 10 games.  They are undefeated against the Northeast Division this year (3-0-0) but, oddly, are winless (0-3-1) against the rest of the Eastern Conference.  Detroit is 2nd in the Western Conference with 72 points, the Bruins are 3rd in the East with 69.

Oh, this is interesting.  The Wings and Bruins have combined to score 3,467 goals against one another in 578 all-time meetings to date.  The goal differential between these teams is 11.  Detroit has scored 1,739 goals, Boston 1,728.  See what you can glean by merely taking the time to read the game notes they give you, for free?

12:41pm:  We have a goal, early too.  It goes to Boston at 1:29.  Blake Wheeler had it behind the net, was stopped by Jimmy Howard on a wraparound, but backhanded his rebound into the net.  It is his 11th goal of the season, and it puts Detroit in a bad spot.  Boston has failed to get a point only twice in the 36 games this season in which they have held the lead at any point: 30-2-4 (.889).  FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 0, BOSTON 1.

12:49pm:  And we're tied--thanks to perhaps the ugliest giveaway I've ever seen given away at the National Hockey League level.  Boston's Brad Marchand, a center, was last man back for the Bruins and from the left of netminder Tim Thomas, Marchand backhanded a weak, pass right out in front of his own net.  A blind pass.  Todd Bertuzzi was right there to say thank you very much and score the unassisted goal off a nice deke of Thomas at 6:09.  Bertuzzi had two goals against the Bruins Friday night (the second accounting for his 700th career NHL point) and the easy one he is gifted here gives him 11 goals for the season. FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 1, BOSTON 1.

1:02pm:  Brad Marchand giveth and Brad Marchand taketh.  Martchand, a few minutes after his terrible turnover, redirected a centering pass from Michael Ryder between Howard's legs to put the Bruins back on top at 12:17.  It was a power play goal, and it was way too easy.  Ruslan Salei let Marchand get open out in front of the Detroit net and the pass from the right wing halfwall from Ryder was right on the tape and in.  Goal #16 for Marchand who does not get a plus on the play to cancel out the minus he got on the Bertuzzi goal because, as we say, it was a Boston power play goal.  FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 1, BOSTON 2.

1:15pm: The first period ends with Boston still up a goal.  Boston is a remarkable 19-1-1 (.929) when leading after one.  Detroit is 6-13-3 (.341) when trailing after 1.  We'd be tied in this one but the Wings had an apparent goal waved off when Boston was ahead 1-0.  Thomas appeared to have the puck covered in the crease (the referee thought so and blew the whistle) but one of the Wings--it might have been Holmstrom but don't quote me--dug it free and fired it in.  The whistle preceded the puck's crossing of the goal line by a millisecond or so, negating the goal.  The play was not reviewable.  END OF THE FIRST PERIOD:  DETROIT 1, BOSTON 2.

1:30pm:  There's been a change on Boston's first goal.  It goes to the former Plymouth Whaler who was selected #2 overall in the NHL draft last June, Tyler Seguin.  It appeared on the replay that Seguin and Blake Wheeler, originally credited with the goal, had a sort of dual possession as the puck was shot.  Each appeared to have the blade of his stick in contact with the puck.  Super slo-mo gives the goal to Seguin instead of Wheeler.  Seguin wears #19 and he just turned 19 a couple of weeks ago on the last day of January.  On to the second period...

1:40pm:  Tied.  Pavel Datsyuk, alone just to the right of Thomas, dumped the rebound of a shot fired from the right point by Brian Rafalski into the Boston net.  This is Datsyuk's 4th game back after missing a month and a half due to a broken wrist and it is his 2nd goal and 5th point in those 3 game plus the first 24 minutes of this one.  Overall, it is goal #14 for Datsyuk and it comes at the 3:54 mark of the 2nd.  SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 2, BOSTON 2.

1:55pm:  The Wings have taken the lead 3-2 at 12:44 on Kris Draper's 6th goal of the season.  He got in behind the defense and took a pass from Patrick Eaves that sent him in alone.  Draper went high to give Detroit their first lead of the afternoon.  It took the Wings five seconds to move the puck from deep in their own zone all the way into the Boston net.  Niklas Lidstrom made a stretch pass to Darren Helm who found Eaves who found Draper who found the net. 180 feet in five seconds and a Detroit lead. SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 3, BOSTON 2.

2:10pm:  We've spent a lot of time this blog talking about Boston's record in various situations, but now the statistics auger in favor of the Red Wings.  The second period is over with Detroit leading, and when Detroit leads after two this season, Detroit is 19-0-2 (.952).  In other words, the Wings have never failed to record a point in 2010-11 when leading after two periods.  END OF THE SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 3, BOSTON 2.

2:40pm:  We are midway through the 3rd period, 9:54 left, and there is no change in the score.  The Wings just had a power play and as a result of not scoring, are 0-3 on the pp today.  Boston, pressing for the tying goal, was very aggressive on the kill looking for the equalizer.  THIRD PERIOD: DETROIT 3, BOSTON 2.

2:47pm:  For the second game in a row, Todd Berteuzzi has scored two goals and the Wings are looking good here with under 6 minutes to play.  Johan Franzen waited and waited and waited as he and Bertuzzi were in on a 2-on-1 and when Franzen finally slid the pass across, Bertuzzi finished perfectly.  He now has a dozen goals this season and, as we say, four in his last 2 games now. The Wings have put 4 past Thomas this afternoon.  He entered today's game leading the league in goals-against average and save percentage. THIRD PEREIOD: DETROIT 4, BOSTON 2.

2:57pm:  That's it.  The Wings are now 20-0-2 when leading after two periods as they come from behind to defeat Boston 4-2.  The Bruins led 2-1 after one, but the goals in the second period by Datsyuk and Draper gave the Wings the lead for good.  Bertuzzi capped it with his goal in the 3rd.  The Wings sweep the home-and-home series.  FINAL SCORE: DETROIT 4, BOSTON 2.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nashville Predators (at) Detroit Red Wings: The Live-Blog

Pre-Game Skate:  All I can tell you is that they are all important, even these less-than-sexy matchups involving Detroit and Nashville.  That's because right now the difference between 3rd place in the Western Conference and 14th-place in the Western Conference is 9 points.  Nine.  And that's all.

7:43pm:  And we have a goal.  Martin Erat skated inside the rim of the circle to the right of Jimmy Howard and beat the Detroit goalie with a wrister over the left shoulder.  No screen.  No tip.  Nothing at all and Howard--with plenty of time to set himself and get square to his shooter gets beat glove side high. One does not like to see that.  It's early. Erat's 8th of the season comes at 3:09.  Here are the obligatory "when scoring first" numbers:  Nashville is 19-3-5 (.611) when the get the first goal of the game this season, Detroit--playing .660 overall so far--is 10-13-2 (.440) when scored upon first.  FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 0, NASHVILLE 1.  

8:01pm:  2-0, Nashville.  David Legwand stole the puck deep in the Detroit zone and dropped it back to the Detroit line then headed for the net.  Because of that, he was right there in front to slam the tasty rebound left by Howard into a wide-open Wings net.  Legwand's 8th comes at 14:13, and no, I do not have stats for what happens when Detroit gives up not just the first goal of a game, but the first two and I do not have the time while the game is going on to review each of the 53 box scores generated by the Wings so far this season to get the answer to that question.  FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 0, NASHVILLE 2.

8:31pm:  And it's 3-0, Nashville.  We're just into the second period and the Wings elected to leave Nashville's Colin Wilson all alone out in front.  When he got the puck, as you knew he inevitably would, Howard stopped his first shot but not his second and the Preds are one the board again just 1:03 into the second period.  SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 0, NASHVILLE 3.

8:35pm:  Well, let's see.  What else is going on?  I had lunch with Tigers President Dave Dombrowski today.  (Actually, I sat next to him while he ate prior to addressing the crowd as our guest speaker at the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association luncheon but it still counts, right?)  Dombrowski believes the Tigers will win them all this year, and who's to argue.  Everybody's team looks good in February!  A 162-0 season coming up for Detroit in 2011.  It should be a hell of a year.

8:38pm  It's hard to figure sports, you know?  Take Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne.  He shuts out Detroit 3-0 Saturday, get's lit up by a bad Edmonton team Monday--pulled in the second period, in fact--and now tonight he's back to shutting the Wings out again.  We're almost halfway through this one, 11:04 left in the middle twenty, and Detroit has not scored on him.  The weird thing is this:  we're halfway through this game and the Wings have a grand total of 12 shots on goal.  That is something like unheard of for this team.  We just had our first penalty of the game, speaking of not a lot going on.  Jakub Kindl goes off and the Preds are on the power play.  They are 1-13 (7.7%) on the power play against Detroit this season which, for those of you new to the game, is not very good.  Ooops.  Make it 2-14.  Nashville gets a power play goal from Sergei Kostitsyn at 10:26 and Howard is excused from further participation as Joey MacDonald comes into the game to play goal for Detroit.  SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 0, NASHVILLE 4.  

9:00pm:  Take that Pekka Rinne, you and your shutout.  Ruslan Salei followed his own shot to whack his rebound into the net and the Wings are, at long last, on the board.  It's Salei's 1st goal of the season and it comes at 16:02.  SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 1, NASHVILLE 4.

9:08pm:  The period is over and we have lost all interest in this one.  The Wings, no doubt stung when I pointed out that they had had only a dozen shots in the first half of the game, rallied to record 14 in the second period but I don't think its going to be enough.  Detroit is down by 3 as we head to the 3rd....SECOND INTERMISSION: DETROIT 1, NASHVILLE 4.

9:29pm:  Sorry, I've been reading about that idiot congressman from New York, Chris Lee (R-Of Course), who was trying to pick up women on Cragslist by posting a shirtless picture of himself and by saying he was a divorced 39-year-old.  He's married and 46.  Oooops.  The story broke on at 3:34 EST and by 7:18 Lee had resigned (to spend more time with his family, no doubt).  In hockey if you are stupid they call you a donkey.  We will apply it to Chris Lee here:  What a donkey.  There is been no change in the game, in case you were wondering.  Still 4-1, Predators and it all looks pretty hopeless tonight.  The best moment came a moment ago when the Wings had a shot at a wide-open net.  So wide-open in fact that Todd Bertuzzi raised his stick in exultation before the shot was taken.  He would have been sooo ready if the puck had actually gone in the net, but the shot, sad to say, was too high and poor Todd was just sort of stuck standing there with his stick raised over his head for no good reason at all.  Such is this night for Deteroit.  THIRD PERIOD: DETROIT 1, NASHVILLE 4.

9:45pm:  Okay, normally I wouldn't do this but I'm having a slight health issue tonight and I think I shall depart the proceedings prematurely this evening.  As I depart, there are 7:00 left in the game and the Wings are still down 3 and I don't think they are coming back.  If they do, I will miss it, sorry.  This is the worst I've seen Detroit play this season.  I'm not that worried about it.  In an 82-game season, you will have the occasional clunker.  Best to not make it a habit, though.  Good night, all.

Monday, February 7, 2011

New York Rangers (at) Detroit Red Wings: The Live-Blog

Pre-Game Skate:  (We stole the italicized portions from just so you don't think I've been working hard up here or anything...)

Detroit hopes to avoid being shut out in three straight games for the first time in its storied history Monday night when it hosts New York, which has lost four in a row.

In their last game, a 2-0 loss at Montreal, the Rangers went 0 for 4 on the power play and are just 1 for 35 with the man advantage in their last 11 road games.

Meanwhile, Detroit went 0 for 4 on the power play against the Predators and is now 2 for 28 with the man advantage over the last nine games. 

Detroit lost 3-0 at Nashville Saturday after losing by the same score in in Detroit Friday.  The back-to-back shutouts came after the Wings tied their season high for goals in a game with a 7-5 win at Ottawa Wednesday.  

PAVEL DATSYUK is back tonight!  He missed 19 games with a broken hand.  Detroit was 10-7-2 (.579) without him.  As he is their best player and all, this is HUGE for the Red Wings.

8:00pm:  We are just about exactly halfway through the first period (9:53 left) and Detroit's been outshot by NY 12-3. This is unusual.  Detroit typically pours it on at the outset and makes the visitors weather the storm.  Not tonight, however.  

The Rangers are sporting a old-school look tonight for this Original Six game, wearing dark navy jerseys with laces at the collar.  I'm pretty sure they replicate the sweaters (that's what they used to call hockey jerseys, sweaters) the Rangers wore in the 1940's and '50's.  All in all, it's pretty good stuff.  

8:12pm:  Speaking of pretty good stuff, that was an entertaining Super Bowl yesterday, didn't you think?  I had it all wrong.  Pittsburgh was my pick.  I did say so on the air, but not in this space because I've got friends who are Packers fans and I didn't want to upset them (although, truth be told when it comes to the Super Bowl I am almost always wrong).  I didn't think Green Bay would be able to run the ball on Pittsburgh so I thought the Steelers would win.  I was right about the can't run on the Steelers thing.  Did you notice how many yards the Packers ran for yesterday?  50. Five-zero.  Usually the team that wins the rushing battle wins the game.  Of course, at the same time, the team that wins the turnover battle usually wins, too and in this case it was all Green Bay.  Three takeaways and a touchdown for the Packers off each one.  And that's why the Packers are World Champs once again tonight.  That and the fact that their quarterback Aaron Rodgers outplayed the other teams QB, Ben Roethlisberger.  When your QB is better than the other guys QB, you almost always win.  Football--it's not that complicated.

Meanwhile, the period here has come to an end.  Detroit rallied during the second half of the first and outshot the Rangers 6-1 since we pointed out NY's big early edge in shots on goal, but for their 7th period in a row, the Wings have zip, nada, nothing to show for it.  NY will be on the power play for the first 1:16 of the second.  Detroit had 1 power play in the first and I noticed--because I was counting them out loud--that in one stretch Detroit completed 10 passes in a row in the offensive zone before even attempting a shot.  That coach played by Gene Hackman in Hoosiers, Norman Dale?  He would have been so proud.  "Four passes before you shoot!"  Remember?  It was amazing puck control by Detroit.  The got no goal to show for it, but I have to tell you, it was quite a show nonetheless.  (The Wings, I mean.  Not Hoosiers.  But, now that we think of it, who don't like Hoosiers?  I, myself, was especially taken with Miss Fleener.)  AFTER ONE PERIOD:  DETROIT 0, RANGERS 0.

8:38pm:  We can report to you that we have a goal and a 1-0 Detroit lead.  Datsyuk--who last season led the NHL in Steals (they are called "Takeaways", officially)--stole the puck clean away (he stole it I tell you; he did not merely take it away) from a Ranger defenseman in the corner to the right of NY goalie Martin Biron and worked a give -and-go pass which saw Datsyuk head for the front of the net and take a pass a get off a shot which Biron stopped.  But Martin, he didn't get to Datsyuk's second shot as Pavel buried his own rebound to inaugurate the night's scoring here.  It's his 13th goal of the year, and his first since December 19th.  Two assists were awarded on the play but there should have only been one since only one Detroit player touched the puck after Datsyuk stole it from that NY player in the corner, at least as I saw it.  Juri Hudler and Dan Cleary got those assists on the goal at 2:52.  SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 1, RANGERS 0.

8:55pm: I'm frustrated because I can't find last season's NHL Takeaway statistics anywhere.  I remember looking at that particular stat late last season and Datsyuk2010-11 Detroit Red Wings Media Guide--is that Datsyuk had 132 takeaways last year: tops in the National League.  I cannot tell you by how many takeaways he led the league, what his final margin of victory was in other words, because the 2009-10 Final Regular Season Takeaway tally is not be found on the NHL Media website (you need a password just to access that site so it really doesn't get any more official than that, for crying out loud) and it is not in the current edition, the 2010-11 edition, of The NHL Guide and Record Book and if its not in either of those places I have no idea where to find it.  A little under 4:00 to go here in the period as I fume. 

9:05pm:  The 2nd period ends.  We had 22 shots on goal in the first period (NYR 13, Det 9) and 37 shots on goal in the second (Det 21, NYR 16) but only that one goal by Datsyuk. AFTER 2 PERIODS: DETROIT 1, RANGERS 0.

9:23pm:  The 3rd period begins.  For those of you scoring at home, the goal by Datsyuk in the second ended a Detroit team scoreless streak of 143:26, and means, of course, the Wings will not be shut out in a 3rd consecutive game tonight--something which, as noted in the "Pre-Game Skate" section earlier, heretofore has never occurred in franchise history.  We now have 61 shots on goal tonight (NYR 31-30) and still only 1 goal to show for all that offense.

9:30pm:  Tied.  I think it was Jimmy Howard's fault.  The Detroit tender had the chance to freeze the puck against the post to his right but elected to dump it into the corner instead.  The Wings never got it out.  Darren Helm was checked at the half-wall across the way, the Rangers got the puck because of it and Derek Stepan was there to fire a short shot past Howard at 3:09.  THIRD PERIOD: DETROIT 1, RANGERS 1.

9:34pm:  Untied.  On a nice 3-way passing play, Datsyuk dropped it back to Jonathan Ericsson who sent it cross-ice to Juri Hudler who one timed it high from the low rim of the circle to the left of Rangers goal to defeat Biron's two-pad stack and find the back of the net.  Datsyuk gets his second point of the night and Hudler gets his 5th goal of the season, his first goal in 8 games and only his second in his last 15.  The go-ahead goal comes at 5:04, only 1:55 after New York had tied it up.  THIRD PERIOD: DETROIT 2, RANGERS 1.

9:45pm:  The Wings and Rangers--who back in the day when it really was the Original Six used to play each other 14 times a year, 7 here and 7 there--now only meet once a season.  It's sad.  It means the Blueshirts only come to town every other year.  Still, it feels strange to look it up and learn that that Rangers have not won a game in Detroit in 12 years and a week, dating to a 3-2 NY win here on January 30, 1999.

9:50pm:  3-1 and it looks like it's going to be a couple more years, at least, before the Rangers win again in Detroit.  Drew Miller went to the net as Justin Abdelkader stole the puck and held it in just inside the line and because he did, he was there to bang Abdelkader's rebound into the net at 14:37.  It's his 4th goal of the year.  THIRD PERIOD: DETROIT 3, RANGERS 1.

9:55pm:  Did we speak too soon?  The Rangers just scored and they are back to within 1 and, to make matters more dramatic, are going on the power play with 3:40 to go in the game.  NY is 0/2 tonight and 1/37 (2.7%) in their last 11 road games when a man to the good.  The goal that got NY back to within a goal came at 15:55, only 1:18 after Miller had made it 3-1, Detroit.  Brandon Dubinsky scored it.  And now, with 0:44 left in the first Detroit penalty, the Wings are whistled again:  Abdelkader got his stick up and gets a double-minor for it.  With 2:24 to go, Detroit will finish this one shorthanded.  THIRD PERIOD: DETROIT 3, RANGERS 2.

10:02pm:  The Wings win.  They killed off that 44-second two-man disadvantage by clearing the puck the length a couple of time and then Miller, with under half a minute on the clock, did a great job while sliding along the ice to sweep the puck over the Wings blue line to the neutral zone and that pretty much did it.  The Wings losing streak (not to mention their goal-less streak) is over. It was an entertaining evening here.  We had 82 shots on goal!  NY had 47 of them, but Howard had 45 saves.  You might think that 47 were the most shots allowed by Detroit this year (I did) but its not.  Colorado had 49 on December 27.  It is only the third time this year (in 53 games) the Wings have allowed 40+ shots.  They are 3-0-0 in those games.  I got to pick the 3 Stars tonight on behalf of the Michigan Talk Network and I went with: #3 Howard (I should have made him #2), #2 Hudler and #1 Datsyuk.  There won't be any arguing over the #1 star, at least.  And the crowd, naturally, loved it.  Pavel got the biggest roar of the three when he skated out.  Which he should have.  He was the difference-maker in this one and it was great to see him out there again.  Like any great player, he is fun to watch.  Nashville will be here on Wednesday night, and so will we.  Good night from Detroit!  FINAL SCORE: DETROIT 3, RANGERS 2.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Columbus Blue Jackets 3 (at) Detroit Red Wings 0: The Live-Blog

Pre-Game Skate:  I can't believe that this is the first time I've been with you since Januray 15, but it is.  I've been to a grand total of one (1) Wings game since--that 4-1 loss to the Blackhawks on January 22 which, truth be told, wasn't much to blog about anyway--and so we find ourselves once again watching the Wings host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

There had been some talk that Pavel Datsyuk would be back in uniform for Detroit tonight but he's not.  Datsyuk, pound-for-pound the best player in the National League in my book, broke his hand in a game here a couple of nights before Christmas (Dec. 22) and has not been seen since.  He was one in a long, long line of Detroit injuries (in that loss to Chicago, for example, the Wings played without 6 injured skaters and both their first and second-string goalies) but the Wings have played over and/or through those injuries amazingly well.  This is the 17th game missed by Datsyuk and the Wings have gone 10-5-2 (.647) without him.  When he got hurt, Detroit was 21-8-4 (.697) so you can see that while his loss has hurt Detroit, it hasn't hurt them all that much.

Heading into the game tonight, their 53rd of the season, Detroit leads their division by 7 points and trails conference-leading Vancouver by the same margin (although the Wings have two games in hand on the Canucks).

7:58pm:  The Blue Jackets get the first goal.  Antoine Vermette came off the Columbus bench at the far blue line unnoticed and skated to the high slot between the circles and, with the help of a perfect blind backhand pass from Matt Calvert along the far left wing boards, fired a long one past Jimmy Howard.  The pass made the play.  It was right on the tape and Vermette fired it by in one motion.  He really stepped into it.  The mistake was not Howard's but instead the Detroit defense's for failing to notice Vermette coming late.  12:29 OF THE FIRST: DETROIT 0, COLUMBUS 1.

8:03pm:  A break and a big one for the Wings.  A Columbus goal is waved off at 13:21 when it is ruled that the Blue Jackets Derick Brassard was in the crease and interfered with Howard just before the puck went into the net.  Replays showed it was not Brassard but rather Howard's teammate Henrik Zetterberg who was tangled up with the Wings goalie and, as such, it was (or should have been) a good goal.  Instead, it's a goalie interference call on Brassard and a Detroit power play.  Most importantly, it's still only a 1-0 Columbus lead.

8:05pm:  And the period ends.  The Wings are down a goal but it could have--should have--been worse.  Columbus outshoots Detroit 9-8 in the period.  END OF THE FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 0, COLUMBUS 1.

8:26pm:  I'm glad to be here tonight as the plan when the week began was to have me missing this one at home while I recuperated from a heart procedure.  The procedure, a radio frequency ablation designed to correct an annoying abnormal heartbeat, was pushed back a couple of weeks and so here we are.  I'll be out of action for 2-3 weeks once they do to procedure.  Unless they kill me while doing it, in which case I'll be out of action a few games longer.

8:30pm  The second period begins.  During the bread I read the blog I wrote the last time Columbus was here and that night the Jackets led early 2-0 before Detroit came back to win in overtime 6-5.  Johan Franzen--he of the 5-goal game in Ottawa the night before last in a 7-5 Wings win--got that gamer in that one.  So buck up, you Detroit fans out there.

8:34pm:  Franzen, looking for his 6th goal in his last 5 periods of play, just hit the post.  A real clanger, too.  We could hear it up here in the press box and we are not exactly what you would call close to the Columbus net way off to our right.  Poor Johan.  Can't buy a break, nothings going in for him, etc...

8:51pm:  Andrew Murray outworks Detroit's Ruslan Salei off to the side of the Wings net and slips a pass out in front to Jared Boll who is all alone below the hash marks and who makes no mistake getting off a quick shot on goal, beating the helpless Howard high.  The goal came just a few moments after Jonathan Ericsson missed a wide open Columbus net.  So, instead of a 1-1 tie the Wings are--just as they were the last time the Blue Jackets were here--down 2-0.  The goal at 13:11 OF THE SECOND PERIOD.  DETROIT 0, COLUMBUS 0.

9:07pm:  The period ends as Detroit misfires repeatedly during a 5-on-3 power play.  They really could have used one at that point but Steve Mason--the Columbus goalie--went post-to-post to stop a Nicklas Lidstrom drive from between the rings.  Other than that, Detroit did not threaten with the two-man.  Columbus just missed finishing off a 2-on-1 breakaway when R.J. Umberger shot wide a split second before the horn.  Detroit outshot the Jackets 14-7 in the period and have outshot them 22-16 in the game so far, but have nothing, no thing, to show for it.  AFTER 2 PERIODS: DETROIT 0, COLUMBUS 2.

9:20pm:  This is the 5th of 6 regular-season meetings between these teams and while Detroit has points in each of the previous four (3-0-1) they've all been close.  Two have gone to overtime/shootout and three have been decided by one goal.  The margin in the other was 2.

9:36pm:  We are better than halfway through the third period and the Wings continue to trail by a pair.  Detroit has outshot 'em 30-19 (8-3 in the period) and still have not been able to solve Mason.  Franzen--after hitting the post in the second period--had another great chance a couple of minutes ago, alone off to the side of an open Columbus net, but he couldn't handle the pass.  What are you gonna do?  Franzen has 9 goals in his last 9 games.  It's hard to complain about a guy who has that going for him.  MID-THIRD: DETROIT 0, COLUMBUS 2.

954pm:  Andrew Murray, the guy who made the play on Columbus' second goal tonight back in the second period, has just fired one into an empty Detroit net at 18:48 and that is going to do it.  You just knew it was a bad sign when you looked down there and saw the Wings net empty, Howard apparently having quit tonight's game.  They count it down to zero on the scoreboard and for the first time this season, the Wings fail to get a point in a game against the Blue Jackets.  It's the second time this season (0-5 v. Los Angeles on Dec. 13) that the Wings have been shut out this season.  FINAL SCORE: DETROIT 0, COLUMBUS 3.