Red Wings-Blue Jackets Preview

Rick Nash was still a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets after

the NHL trade deadline, but it’s likely his tenure with the team

will end following this season.

The Blue Jackets revealed their captain requested a trade last

month, and that could make for an interesting reception Tuesday

night when Columbus tries to prevent the banged-up Detroit Red

Wings from retaking sole possession of the Central Division

lead.

Nash was expected to be dealt from the league-worst Blue Jackets

(18-37-7) before Monday’s deadline, which passed with the five-time

All-Star still on the roster. Columbus’ only transaction during the

day was acquiring two fourth-round draft picks and a minor leaguer

from Vancouver for forward Samuel Pahlsson.

“The price (to trade Nash) was high,” general manager Scott

Howson said. “And I don’t apologize for that.”

Howson, though, also said at a press conference Monday that his

leading scorer came to him in January and asked to be dealt to

another team.

“He obviously wants a change,” Howson said. “Obviously, we’re

going to look at all of our options as we move forward. We’ll see

what happens once we get around the draft in the summer.”

While Howson bides his time, Nash will try to lead the Blue

Jackets to their second consecutive home win over Detroit

(41-19-3). Columbus defeated the Red Wings 4-1 on Oct. 25 but

dropped the two matchups at Joe Louis Arena.

This time, the Blue Jackets will face a Red Wings team that’s

0-2-1 since winning six straight, its longest skid since a

season-high six consecutive defeats Oct. 22-Nov. 3. Detroit has

also dropped three straight on the road and is 15-16-1 there this

season – compared with a 26-3-2 record at home.

The Red Wings must try to turn things around without their

captain. The 41-year-old Nicklas Lidstrom has been ruled out for

Tuesday’s game and is day to day after injuring one of his ankles

in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Colorado.

Leading scorer Pavel Datsyuk will miss his fourth straight game

while recovering from knee surgery, and defenseman Jonathan

Ericsson is out a month after he broke his wrist against the

Avalanche.

The Red Wings dropped their second straight at home Saturday

after winning an NHL-record 23 straight there. After giving up the

game’s first three goals, they attempted to rally in the third

period but couldn’t get the equalizer following Valtteri Filppula’s

score with 5:07 remaining.

Jiri Hudler had the other two goals and an assist, and Henrik

Zetterberg assisted on all three goals. However, they couldn’t help

the Red Wings earn at least one valuable point.

St. Louis took advantage to tie Detroit atop the Central with a

3-1 win in Calgary on Monday, but the Blues are idle until

Wednesday.

“It’s unacceptable to play like that, to be as poor as we were,”

coach Mike Babcock said. “We had a rally in the third period, but

for two games – and probably for three – we haven’t had much

energy.”

Filppula will try to help change that. He has a team-best five

points against Columbus this season and 11 in his last nine

matchups (five goals, six assists).

Jimmy Howard might also get the chance to continue his success

against the Blue Jackets. The All-Star netminder is 9-1-1 with a

1.68 goals-against average lifetime against Columbus and has won

both matchups this season.

Howard’s nine wins are tied for his most against any

opponent.