Blue Jackets continue dominant ways vs. Red Wings
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Columbus Blue Jackets are in the early stages of a rebuilding process, but good luck explaining that to the Detroit Red Wings.
Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky had 30 saves for the first shutout of his NHL career, and the Blue Jackets cruised to a 3-0 win over the Red Wings on Saturday before 17,957 in Nationwide Arena.
"You can feel the confidence growing," Blue Jackets center Derick Brassard said. "These guys have had their way with us pretty good through the years, so a game like this feels special.
"But it's not just this game. Everybody is playing hard, doing their job and filling a role. Great goaltending, timely goals and were defending really hard. It's good right now."
There was a defining moment Saturday.
With 6:26 remaining in the game and Columbus in control 3-0, Jackets veteran winger Vinny Prospal stepped away from a skirmish with Red Wings winger Justin Abdelkader and pointed to the scoreboard in a taunting manner.
Prospal was given a 10-minute misconduct.
The crowd -- littered with Red Wings sweaters and T-shirts -- roared with a mixture of local cheers and visiting boos.
"I didn't like it," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "I addressed the team after the game and told them I didn't like it. We're not about that. It's not a respectful thing to do."
The Blue Jackets are 3-0-1 against the Red Wings this season and are guaranteed to win the season series for the first time since Columbus joined the NHL as an expansion team for the 2000-01 season.
The win also marked a fourth straight victory and a six-game point streak for Columbus, its longest since February 2011.
Cam Atkinson, Jack Johnson and Nick Foligno scored for the Blue Jackets (9-12-4).
The teams meet again Sunday in Detroit. One assumes it will be more competitive than Saturday's game.
"We were bad," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "So, why was that? Was that mental prep? Was that the coach never got any messages across? Lack of preparation? Did we practice too long yesterday?
"The bottom line is: We weren't mentally prepared to play hard enough and long enough to have success."
The Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead at 13:46 of the first period, thanks to a sloppy turnover behind the Red Wings' net by defenseman Niklas Kronwall. Matt Calvert stole the puck from Kronwall, curled around the net and found Atkinson in the slot for a one-timer.
The Jackets pushed the lead to 3-0 by scoring 83 seconds apart in the second period.
At 5:12 of the second, and with the Blue Jackets on the power play, Johnson one-timed a drop pass from Derick Brassard, beating Jonas Gustavsson's glove.
At 6:35, Ryan Johansen found Foligno in front of the net for an easy goal on Gustavsson.
Acquired by the Blue Jackets from Philadelphia for draft picks last June, Bobrovsky earned his first NHL shutout while playing in his 99th NHL game.
The Red Wings slump continued Saturday. They went 0 for 3 on the power play and are now 0 for 36 on the road with a man-advantage this season.
Leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg hasn't scored in six games. Their second-leading scorer, Pavel Datsyuk, hasn't scored in nine games.
Gustavsson, playing only his fourth game this season, had 21 saves.
NOTES: Blue Jackets center Artem Anisimov missed the game with what coach Todd Richards described as "bumps and bruises." ... Blue Jackets right winger Derek Dorsett (fractured collarbone) was placed on injured reserve and will likely miss the rest of the season. He was injured in Columbus' OT win over Vancouver on Thursday. ... Until Saturday, the Red Wings hadn't allowed a goal in the first two periods of their last five games. ... The Red Wings will play just nine of their final 24 games in Joe Louis Arena.
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