By Tyler Barnes –
A late third-period effort fell short on Tuesday as the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated Detroit, 5-3. Cam Atkinson led the charge with two goals and an assist for the Blue Jackets. Justin Abdelkader, Andreas Athanasiou and Tomas Tatar lit the lamp for Detroit, while Mike Green tallied three helpers. Jimmy Howard stopped 27 of 31 shots in the loss.
After a scoreless first that saw the Wings badly outplayed, the Blue Jackets got on the board early in the second with a power-play goal from David Savard. But Abdelkader would tie the game on a nifty give-and-go passing play with Gustav Nyquist.
David Clarkson added a late tally to give the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.
The Blue Jackets top line struck early in the third period when Boone Jenner scored just 26 seconds into the frame. Dubinsky found Jenner at the back door for an easy tap-in.
With the Wings down by three early in the final period, Athanasiou and Matt Calvert dropped the gloves in what was a spirited bout. It marked Athanasiou’s first NHL penalty and fight.
Atkinson scored another power-play goal for the Jackets on a 5-on-3 midway through the third period. Seth Jones’ stick broke on a one-timer from the point, which sent the puck right to Atkinson down low to the left of Howard, and he tipped it home to go up 4-1.
With over six minutes left in the third and with his team on a power play, Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill decided to pull Howard for the extra attacker. The move paid dividends when Tomas Tatar buried a shot top corner to give Detroit life.
Green made a fantastic play at the blue line just over a minute later and threw a shot on goal that deflected off of Athanasiou and behind Joonas Korpisalo. Green drew his third assist on the night.
The Red Wings threw 20 shots on Korpisalo in the third period. He made 29 saves on the night.
Detroit continued to apply pressure with an empty net, but Atkinson added his second of the game with 18 seconds remaining to put the Wings late push to rest.
The Winnipeg Jets travel to Joe Louis Arena on Thursday to take on the Red Wings.
Highlights from the game: