Gustavsson strong again as Wings top Jackets

The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- Jonas Gustavsson is finally playing a big role for the Detroit Red Wings.

The backup goaltender was hobbled by groin injuries for much of the lockout shortened campaign last season after being signed by the Red Wings as a free agent. And when this season began, Gustavsson again found himself on injured reserve with another groin pull.

But he has been outstanding in two consecutive wins in two days.

The latest was Tuesday night's 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Joe Louis Arena, in which Gustavsson made 36 saves.

"I felt good. We had a game yesterday, so back-to-back, and that was the first couple of games that I played so that was different," Gustavsson said. "It's just a matter of preparing yourself and be ready to go out and have a good first period because that's usually the key in these kind of games."

Gustavsson is in the lineup due to No. 1 goalie Jimmy Howard's sore hand. Gustavsson backstopped Detroit to a 3-2 win in Boston on Monday afternoon.

His biggest save Tuesday night was a spectacular stop on Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson, sliding across the crease to smother a backhand shot from the right circle with 5:20 left to preserve his team's lead.

"I don't know if I couldn't get a good push or if I got caught with one of our or their guys, but I had to do something to get some part of my body over there," Gustavsson said. "Lucky enough that was enough."

"It's great seeing a guy finally getting a chance and doing well with the opportunity," Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincey said. "We're all happy for him."

Daniel Alfredsson scored his first goal as a Red Wing and Todd Bertuzzi also scored for Detroit, which played (and won) its third game in four days. Henrik Zetterberg had two assists.

Cam Atkinson scored for Columbus and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 30 shots.

"I thought we deserved a better fate," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "I thought the guys worked real hard and I saw a lot of good things."

Bertuzzi's power-play goal gave the Red Wings a 2-1 lead with 8:46 left in the second period. He got his second goal from just outside the crease as he directed in a bouncing puck.

Atkinson tied the game at 1, 7:48 into the second period with an unassisted power-play goal. It was a spectacular individual effort as he carried the puck the length of the ice, bulled past Detroit defenseman Dan DeKeyser, got off a shot and then jammed the rebound past Gustavsson. It was Atkinson's second goal of the season.

"I just used my speed to my benefit and kind of just went with it," Atkinson said.

Alfredsson gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead 5:05 into the game when he blasted a slap shot past Bobrovsky from the left circle.

Detroit skated away with a 1-0 lead after the first period, despite being outshot 18-7 in the first 20 minutes. Gustavsson stopped Boone Jenner on a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle 7:25 into the opening period and Johnson hit the crossbar from the slot with 7:40 left in the first during a power play. Gustavsson also denied Atkinson twice from in close in the period's last 10 seconds during another Columbus power play.

NOTES: Detroit recalled G Petr Mrazek from Grand Rapids of the AHL earlier in the day to back up Gustavsson. ... Columbus D James Wisniewski is a native of the Detroit-area suburb Canton and played his junior hockey with the suburban-Detroit based Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. ... Blue Jackets' D Johnson is from Ann Arbor and played at the University of Michigan. ... The start of the game was pushed back to 8 p.m., from its originally scheduled 7:30 p.m. face-off because of the Detroit Tigers' American League Championship Series game against the Boston Red Sox, which began at 4 p.m., Tuesday at Comerica Park. ... Blue Jackets RW Jared Boll also played with the OHL's Plymouth Whalers. ... Detroit sent C Darren Helm to Grand Rapids on a conditioning stint. He hasn't played this season and played only one game last season due to a sore back. ... Columbus C Matt Calvert underwent abdominal surgery and is out for six weeks.
View Comments