Published January 08, 2015
(SportsNetwork.com) - Looking to recover from an epic losing streak, the Columbus Blue Jackets take aim at a third straight victory on Tuesday evening as they play host to the Detroit Red Wings.
The Blue Jackets have lost 118 man games this season due to injury, putting them on pace for 569 man games lost over an 82-game schedule, but were bolstered on Saturday with the return of No. 1 netminder Sergei Bobrovsky from a fractured left finger.
Bobrovsky made 36 saves in his first contest following an eight-game absence to help the Blue Jackets best the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Saturday. The victory was the 100th of his career.
Cam Atkinson's power-play goal proved to be the difference and David Savard also lit the lamp for Columbus, which was coming off a 4-3 win over Philadelphia on Friday that snapped a nine-game skid (0-8-1).
"We found a way to win the hockey game," Columbus head coach Todd Richards said. "We won some battles and Bob made saves. We executed and did some right things on the penalty kill. That was a big moment."
Of course, it wouldn't be the Blue Jackets if they weren't faced with another injury. Center Ryan Johansen did not practice on Monday due to an undisclosed injury, making him questionable for this contest.
Johansen, who had four assists in the win over the Flyers, had played in all 17 games this season and has posted six goals with 14 assists.
"I wouldn't say a maintenance day," said Richards on Columbus' website of Johansen missing practice. "A maintenance day is when guys are sore and tired. He's got a little bit more than that, but we'll know more (Tuesday)."
Bobrovsky could start again tonight and is 4-2-1 with a 2.01 goals against average and .935 save percentage in eight career games versus Detroit.
The Blue Jackets are 7-1-1 in their last nine meetings with the Red Wings, going 5-0-1 in the past six played at home in the series.
Detroit tries to avoid a second straight loss tonight after losing a 4-1 decision to the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday. Riley Sheahan had a power-play goal in defeat and Jimmy Howard made just 15 saves.
The Red Wings, who wrapped a four-game homestand, fell to 2-2-3 in their last seven games.
"It's not what we wanted," Sheahan said. "We were inconsistent. Some shifts we showed glimpses of great work and then we weren't really thinking much."
Pavel Datsyuk missed the first two games of the residency with a sore groin before skating in a win over Chicago on Friday and the loss to the Habs on Sunday. However, he did not practice on Monday and is questionable due to the ailment, but he did make the trip to Columbus.
The 36-year-old Datsyuk has five goals and 11 points in 10 games on the season.
Howard will make his fifth straight start tonight and is 10-4-2 in his career versus the Blue Jackets with a 2.06 GAA and .923 save percentage in 18 games with 17 starts.