COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Todd Bertuzzi scored on a backhand in the fourth round of the shootout to lift Detroit to a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, giving the Red Wings at least 100 points for the 10th year in a row.
Rick Nash scored in the first round and Pavel Datsyuk followed him with a matching goal before the goaltenders stopped the next two shooters for each team. After Jimmy Howard turned aside Columbus' R.J. Umberger, then Bertuzzi, 4 of 8 in shootouts this season, faked the forehand and netted the backhander past Steve Mason for the decisive goal.
Howard, a top Calder Trophy candidate as the NHL rookie of the year, had 22 saves. Mason, last year's Calder winner, had a season-high 45 saves in the Blue Jackets' final game of the season.
Detroit, 12-1-2 in its last 15 games, outshot the Blue Jackets 34-15 in the last two periods and overtime. The Red Wings play their final regular-season game on Sunday at Chicago.
Howard improved to 36-15-10 with the third shutout of his brief career.
A year after making the playoffs for the first time, the Blue Jackets closed with their fifth straight loss to finish at 32-35-15.
The Red Wings improved to 6-9 in shootouts while the Blue Jackets fell to 2-10.
The game meant a lot to both teams, but for vastly different reasons. The Wings, already assured of a spot in the playoffs for the 19th year in a row (best of any major pro sports franchise), needed a win to improve their seeding in the West and maintain their momentum heading into next week's playoffs.
The Blue Jackets, with the postseason all but off the table three months ago, still had a shot at a top-five draft pick this summer — if they lost.
Other teams had something at stake in the game as well, including those who don't want to meet the playoff-hardened Red Wings right away, along with the clubs battling the Blue Jackets for the worst record in the league and better draft position.
The Red Wings had an ideal chance to score with 12:34 left in regulation when Darren Helm carried the puck with speed and was given a penalty shot when Grant Clitsome draped himself on his back as he zeroed in on Mason. On Detroit's second penalty shot of the season, Helm skated in slowly but Mason poked the puck away.
NOTES: Columbus RW Derek Dorsett blocked a shot by Jonathan Ericsson late in the second period and had to be helped off the ice. He did not return. ... The Red Wings are now 0 for 2 on penalty shots this season; the Blue Jackets gave up one and stopped one. ... Some fans in the capacity crowd of 18,512 won the opportunity to travel to Sweden for the Blue Jackets' opening series next season. ... It was second time in 11 games that Columbus had been involved in a game that was scoreless through regulation. The Blue Jackets lost 1-0 in a shootout at Nashville on March 20.