Series (Game 2 of 6)

Detroit leads 5-1

Game 1: Wednesday, November 11th
Red Wings9Final
Blue Jackets1
Game 2: Saturday, December 26th
Blue Jackets1Final
Red Wings2
Game 3: Monday, December 28th
Red Wings0Final
Blue Jackets1
Game 4: Thursday, April 1st
Blue Jackets2Final
Red Wings3
Game 5: Wednesday, April 7th
Blue Jackets3Final
Red Wings4
Game 6: Friday, April 9th
Red Wings1Final
Blue Jackets0

Blue Jackets 1

(14-18-7, 35 pts)

Red Wings 2

(19-14-5, 43 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 26, 2009

Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan

1 2 3 T
CBJ 1 0 01
DET 0 1 12

T. Bertuzzi (Red Wings - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

J. Howard (Red Wings - G): Saves: 28, Save Pct.: .966

P. Datsyuk (Red Wings - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Blue Jackets-Red Wings Preview


The Detroit Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets have both had trouble scoring during losing streaks.

The Red Wings will try to avoid a fourth straight loss Saturday night when they try to hand the lowly Blue Jackets a franchise-record ninth defeat in a row.

Detroit (18-14-5) does not resemble the club that has won back-to-back Western Conference titles and the 2008 Stanley Cup. The Red Wings were without eight regulars because of injury or illness Wednesday in their second straight 3-0 defeat to Central Division-leading Chicago.

The Red Wings have not scored more than three goals in 11 games this month and are most notably without forwards Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Danny Cleary and defensemen Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall.

"You can't make excuses," goaltender Jimmy Howard said. "We gotta find a way to win. It's just unfortunate that they're not here to help us but we have to dig deep and we have to find a way to win."

After managing 20 shots on goal during Sunday's loss in Chicago, the Red Wings returned home and fell by the same score despite recording 33 shots.

"We got to find ways to score goals. We got a lot of pucks to the net, there was a lot of rebounds lying around we just couldn't get to," forward Kris Draper said. "We had a good start but weren't able to get that all-important first goal, when you're struggling to score, when you have some of your big players out, you got to find a way to score early."

The Red Wings' 98 goals scored are the third-fewest in the West. They have not lost four straight since a five-game skid Jan. 17-31, and their last four-game skid in regulation was Feb. 10-17, 2008.

Detroit, though, could be facing the perfect opponent to help end that streak. The Central rivals have met once since last year's first-round playoff series and seven Red Wings scored in a 9-1 road victory Nov. 11.

That's the kind of shoddy play Blue Jackets fans have gotten used to as the club has matched its longest losing streak. This is the franchise's fourth eight-game skid and first since Nov. 10-24, 2006.

Despite having reigning Calder Trophy winner Steve Mason, Columbus (14-17-7) has surrendered 134 goals this season -- the most in the West -- and hasn't had more than three tallies in 12 December games. Ken Hitchcock's club has found the back of the net only seven times over the last five contests.

Rick Nash scored his team-leading 19th goal Wednesday in a 3-1 loss to Dallas. The Blue Jackets outshot the Stars 34-28, but Hitchcock wasn't happy.

"I just think we didn't play well," he said. "If we're going to score more we've got to go to the net more. We need everybody maxing out for us to win, and that's what we're going to have to get."

Columbus' once-productive power play has gone south. The Blue Jackets rank fourth in the league with the man advantage at 22.6 percent, but are 4 for 37 over their last 11 games.

Detroit is 19-4-2 all-time at Joe Louis Arena against Columbus. That doesn't include two playoff victories last season in which the Blue Jackets were outscored 8-1.