Red Wings-Blue Jackets Preview

The Associated Press

The Detroit Red Wings endured a historically bad opener while the Columbus Blue Jackets enjoyed a surprisingly good one.

The Red Wings may be in an angry mood as they try to bounce back from a lackluster effort and spoil the Blue Jackets' home opener Monday night.

Detroit fell 6-0 at St. Louis on Saturday. It was outshot 36-14, allowed four power-play goals on five chances and went 0 for 4 with the man advantage.

"I can think of four goals that were just gifts, not even earned," coach Mike Babcock told the Red Wings' official website. "You got to give them credit, they were all over us, and we didn't generate anything."

Detroit was blanked in its opener for the first time since the 1958-59 season. Jimmy Howard was pulled after allowing five goals on 28 shots.

It didn't help that a power play featuring forwards Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen with Niklas Kronwall and rookie Damien Brunner at the points managed only five shots.

"Well, obviously it was not the start we wanted,'' Zetterberg said. "I can't pinpoint just one thing. We didn't have the puck that much, and when we had the puck, we didn't shoot."

Detroit opened last season with five victories and has traditionally dominated Columbus, winning four of six matchups in 2011-12 behind a team-high nine points from Valtteri Filppula.

The home fans will see a new-look Blue Jackets team, which finished with the worst record in the NHL last season before trading all-time leading scorer Rick Nash to the Rangers in the offseason.

Columbus got major contributions from its acquisitions in that deal in a 3-2 shootout victory at Nashville on Saturday.

Artem Anisimov scored a tying goal in the second period and also scored in the shootout, while coach Todd Richards was impressed with Brandon Dubinsky's effort.

"Anisimov, one thing I learned about him is that he has a pretty good backhand," Richards said. "I just learned that tonight. Really impressed with his game, big strong, did a lot of good things throughout."

Richards started Sergei Bobrovsky because the Russian played in the KHL during the lockout and had four shutouts. Bobrovsky, acquired from Philadelphia in the offseason, had 32 saves.

"There's still lots of areas we have to improve on but as far as having game one and only having six days to prepare, there are a lot of good things from tonight's game," Richards said.

The Blue Jackets need other players to step up as they rebuild without Nash, who had a team-high five points against the Red Wings in 2011-12.

Another newcomer, Nick Foligno, should get plenty of ice time after he had a power-play goal against the Predators. Foligno posted career highs of 32 assists and 47 points with Ottawa last season.

The Blue Jackets have had major problems when facing Howard, who is 9-1-1 with a 1.68 goals-against average against them. Bobrovsky has faced Detroit once before.

What to Read Next