Detroit (48-20-3) at Columbus (29-41-3)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Columbus, OH
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Fri Apr 4, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Detroit Red Wings have their share of stars, but also have serious depth.

The Red Wings will look to continue their balanced scoring and move toward the top seed in the Western Conference as they travel to Columbus to play the Blue Jackets.

Sergei Fedorov scored twice, giving him 399 in his career, and Kris Draper added to his career-high point total as the Red Wings raced out to a quick 3-0 lead and cruised to a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday.

“Pretty happy with the start. It was great for us to get the first goal,” said Fedorov, “because those guys are fighting for a playoff spot.”

Veteran Luc Robitaille also scored for the Red Wings, giving them a league-leading 13 players with at least 10 goals. Draper now has 33 points, including 13 goals.

Detroit is second in the Western Conference with 108 points, one behind the Dallas Stars. The Red Wings, who have won 21 of their last 25 games (21-3-0-1) have two games left, while the Stars have one.

The Red Wings had hoped defenseman Jiri Fischer, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament on Nov. 12, could play in a game before the playoffs start next week.

Red Wings coach Dave Lewis said Fischer, who was tested by physicians Thursday, will be tested again before the playoffs begin.

“He’s progressing,” said Lewis. “He’s got solid legs. but not good enough to get himself in a hockey game.

Fischer, 22, and in his fourth NHL season, had a goal and five assists in 15 games.

The Blue Jackets, who have been playing for pride for several weeks, have played fairly well of late, splitting their last 10 games.

Geoff Sanderson and Andrew Cassels have led the charge over the last 13 games, combining for 30 points. Sanderson has seven goals and 15 points, while Cassels has 10 assists and 15 points in that span.

Leading-scorer Ray Whitney had three assists, Sanderson had a goal and a helper and Marc Denis made 27 saves in a 3-0 win over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday.

STANDINGS: Red Wings - 108 points, 1st place, Central Division. Blue Jackets - 68 points, 5th place, 40 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Brett Hull, 36 goals; Fedorov, 45 assists and 80 points; Darren McCarty, 136 PIM. Blue Jackets - Sanderson, 32 goals; Whitney, 52 assists and 75 points; Jody Shelley, 249 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through April 2): Red Wings - Power play: 24.1 percent (73 for 303), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.5 percent (313 for 366), 6th (tied). Blue Jackets - Power play: 17.4 percent (70 for 402), 12th. Penalty killing: 85.5 percent (342 for 400), 6th (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Curtis Joseph (34-18-6, 5 SO, 2.45 GAA); Manny Legace (14-5-3, 2.06). Blue Jackets - Marc Denis (27-40-7, 5, 3.05); Jean-Francois Labbe (2-4-0, 0, 3.59).

SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 3-0.

LAST MEETING: March 3; Red Wings, 3-2. At Columbus, Brendan Shanahan had two goals and Pavel Datsyuk had three assists for the Red Wings. Whitney scored for the Blue Jackets.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Wings - 20-14-4-1 on the road; Blue Jackets - 20-14-4-2 at home.

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