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>>caption: HOLMSTROM (M)
CELEBRATES HIS EARLY GOAL<<
@ COLUMBUS, OH:
The first ever NHL playoff game
in Ohio left the home fans with little
to cheer for.
Chris Osgood made 31-SV and Henrik Zetterberg scored twice in a 4-1 Red
Wings win at Columbus Tuesday night to give the Wings a 3-0 stranglehold on
the opening round series.
It wasn't that Columbus didn't give a good effort before the franchise
record sellout crowd of 19,219. The Blue Jackets skated hard and had more
shots. However, the defending Stanley Cup Champs too advantage of an early
Jackets mistake, played with poise and determination, again got great
goaltending by Osgood and also held the physical edge in what was a tough
The Wings struck early and late in the opening period to take a 2-0 lead.
Tomas Holmstrom (#1) whacked home a Marian Hossa goalpost rebound just
1:07 into the game for his first goal in 21 games-played since January 14th.
The play began on an unforced turnover by CBD DEF Fedor Tyutin, the puck
intercepted by Holmstrom in the neutral zone for a quick counter-attack.
Dan Cleary (#1) made it 2-Zip with a turnaround shot from the slot, moving
away from checker Mike Commodore and falling down as he flipped the puck
past Jackets netminder Steve Mason with 45.1-sec left. Cleary converted a
Johan Franzen feed from the right wall and the puck clinked the post as it
went past Mason's stick side.
In between those two goals Osgood was standout in net for Detroit,
turning away all 11-SOG including a half dozen close-in chances, two of
those by Kristian Huselius.
The game turned even more physical in the middle period. With about
7-mins left in the 2nd-Per, Detroit DEF Brad Stuart blasted BJ's FWD R.J.
Umberger with a clean hip check along the left wing boards. On the next
shift Mike Commodore of the Jackets tried to return the favor but ended
up in the Detroit bench when he missed a hit on Cleary, who saw it coming
and ducked. As play continued, Commodore still looked for a target and was
more concerned with knocking Franzen to the ice behind the end red line,
leaving Henrik Zetterberg (#2) alone between the circles to wrister a Cleary
pass over Mason's glovehand at 13:55/2 to make it 3-0.
Frustrated Ciolumbus saw Tyutin clang the goalpost then Stuart duck behind
Osgood to help keep the puck out of the net during a power play with just over
5-mins remaining in regulation. Umberger (#2) finally stuffed a deflection to the
right side past Ozzie with 10-sec left on that power play to make it 3-1 at 16:07/3.
Zetterberg (#3) clinched the contest by potting an empty-netter with 30.6-sec
on the clock.
Columbus was 1-for-4 and Detroit 0-for-2 on the power play.
Mason made 22-SV for the Blue Jackets.
The Wings took a 3-0 lead for the third time in their last four playoff series.
R-WINGS H-COACH MIKE BABCOCK: "Ozzie was really good...We were patient, we got
the early lead...It was tough to lose the shutout on a power play late in the third period
...What a lick by Stewie (on Umberger), a good clean check...It got a little chippy in the
third period...As you get better your confidence grows...There's something about
experience. In life, when you don't have it, you think it's overrated. When you have it,
it's obviously very, very important."
R-WINGS GOALIE CHRIS OSGOOD: "They pressed us pretty good in that game throughout
...We're happy with the win. We're not too happy with the way we sat back and turned it
over (in the 3rd-Per)...We did a good job of blocking shots...This was a different challenge
for us (being the road team in the first ever Columbus home playoff contest)...We've been
there, we know how difficult it is. Each game is a separate moment. We played real well the
first 10 minutes. We pressed them and got the early goal, which helped us a ton."
R-WINGS FWD HENRIK ZETTERBERG: "It was an exciting game for the first playoff game in
this building. The fans were excited. We tried to defeat that, too."
R-WINGS DEF/CAPT NICKLAS LIDSTROM: "The first goal took the crowd out of the game...
We're playin' real well, especially without the puck...We've been able to get on their D, put pressure on their D...(Osgood) made some great saves late in the game to keep them from
getting back into it...We know they're gonna be desperate (in game four Thursday) and come
at us hard."
R-WINGS Rt-WING DAN CLEARY: "I think I caught Mason leaning (on his turnaround
goal), off the post and in."
R-WINGS L-WING KIRK MALTBY: "We answered the bell in game one and now we're
carrying it over on the road...We knew what we're capable of doing...We knew we
had to come out and play these guys hard...and we're doing that...It's all about the
guys in the dressing room and believing in what we're doing."
BJ's GOALIE STEVE MASON: "With the amount of skill (the Red Wings) have, they're
going to put the puck in the net."
BJ's H-COACH KEN HITCHCOCK: "We've played three games, we've had three great
starts. And had nothing to show for it. We've gotten discouraged because of that and
it's affected our game...We're in a sudden-death situation. And I know what we're up
against. We're up against a real good team."
Detroit has scored four goals in each of the three games in thne series to-date.
The Wings have won 42 consecutive playoff contests in which they've scored four
With a goal and a pair of assists Cleary was voted the game's First Star by
the Columbus media. Cleary's 3-pts were as many as he had in 22 playoff games
Zetterberg's first goal was his 30th career playoff goal.
Franzen had a pair of assists.
Umberger has scored the only two goals of the series for Columbus.
Two goals in the Jackets franchise's first three playoff games are the
fewest for three initial post-season outings among any of the current NHL
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