Red Wings blast Blue Jackets to remain perfect

(Reuters) - The Detroit Red Wings extended their perfect start to the NHL season to five games by overwhelming the winless Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 at Joe Louis Arena on Friday.

The Red Wings and the Capitals (6-0-0) are the only undefeated teams in the NHL and face each other on Saturday in Washington.

"It was a good win for our team, and it sets up a good matchup for Saturday," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

The Red Wings scored three goals on five power-play opportunities, including two by Johan Franzen in the first period that opened up a 2-0 lead.

Derek Brassard narrowed the Red Wings advantage with a goal late in the first period, but Pavel Datsyuk restored Detroit's two-goal cushion with the only score of the second.

Columbus' Aaron Johnson and Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom exchanged power-play goals in the third period before Valterri Filppula capped a four-point night by scoring into an empty net on a pass from Franzen.

Filppula tried to set up Franzen for his hat trick on the final goal, but the Swede Franzen returned the puck to his team mate for the easy score.

"He tried to get it to me but the (defender) went down to try and block the shot and took my legs with him," said Franzen.

"I figured I had a 90 percent chance of scoring and a 100 percent chance to make the pass, so I went for the pass."

The Blue Jackets fell to 0-6-1 and are the only winless team in the league.

"We can't use excuses and we try to stay positive all the time, but we've played some good games and we came out short in a couple of them," Brassard said.

(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario. Editing by Patrick Johnston/Peter Rutherford)