Jenner, Dubinsky score back-to-back as Jackets top Wings
Not only is Boone Jenner having a great rookie season, he’s also showing a knack for describing his goals.
The first-year player and veteran Brandon Dubinsky scored 40 seconds apart in the third period and Sergei Bobrovsky had 39 saves to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets past the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Tuesday night.
"I just came around from behind the net there, just kind of looking around, and the seas kind of parted for me and I fired it," Jenner said of his critical, tiebreaking goal midway through the third period that seemed to fire up the Blue Jackets.
Jenner, playing in his 55th game, came to the back wall and squeezed out Detroit center Cory Emmerton, taking away the puck. Jenner then continued to the right dot before snapping off a wrist shot that beat Mrazek high on the stick side at the 10:08 mark.
It was Jenner’s 12th goal of the year and couldn’t have come at a better time for a club still seemingly in a trance 24 hours after a traumatic game in Dallas. In that game, the Stars’ Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench about 7 minutes into the first period. The NHL called the game and no date has been set for the rematch.
"It was a pretty rough start for us," said Nick Foligno, who had tied the game at 1 in the opening period even while the Red Wings were dominating at both ends. "We didn’t come out the way we wanted to but we battled back. Bob was outstanding in the first to kind of keep us in it. Then we just took over in the third period."
Detroit, which scored first on Danny DeKeyser’s blast from the point, outshot the Blue Jackets 18-8 and had three power plays but still came out of the period deadlocked.
"That’s the way it goes," said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. "You’ve got to score — and they pay Bob to stop the puck. Sometimes when you’re not as good, you expect your goalie to be good. He was good early for them."
Shortly after Jenner’s ice-breaker, Matt Calvert won a puck battle in the neutral zone and then fended off a defenseman while muscling the puck ahead to Dubinsky. He collected the pass, skated to the crease and also scored his 13th at the 10:48 mark.
Dereck MacKenzie then added a goal. Nathan Horton had two assists for the Blue Jackets, who have won five of six.
Both teams came in with 71 points and battling for playoff position in the East.
The Red Wings, already heavily hamstrung by injuries, went to third-string goalie Petr Mrazek when Jimmy Howard couldn’t play because of the flu. Mrazek stopped 33 shots.
Detroit has dropped four of five (1-3-1).
It was particularly troublesome because of the late collapse.
"We can’t afford too many of those," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "(They scored) and then we couldn’t seem to find our game again. All of a sudden we were all over the place."
The Red Wings had two early power plays and took the game’s first five shots but Bobrovsky turned them all away.
After DeKeyser’s goal, Columbus tied it. Nick Schultz, playing his first home game for Columbus after being acquired from Edmonton in a draft-day trade, got a shot through traffic from close to the blue line. Mrazek stopped it but the rebound popped into the slot. Foligno spun with defenseman Jonathan Ericsson on his back and got two whacks at the loose puck while belly-first on the ice before finding the net.
Bobrovsky made huge saves on point-blank shots by Riley Sheahan and Drew Miller within seconds in the middle of the opening period.
"We persevered solely in the first period because of Bob. The score easily could have been 4-1 or 5-1," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "We didn’t start the right way, but we certainly finished the game the right way."
NOTES: Howard was 10-3-2 with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage against the Blue Jackets. … RW Cam Atkinson, third for Columbus with 18 goals, was a healthy scratch for the third game in a row. … A TV weatherman was roundly booed during the first intermission when he appeared on arena monitors to forecast snow on Wednesday after a 65-degree day on Tuesday. … Detroit RW Tomas Jurco suffered an upper-body injury in the second period and did not return.