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Breakdown: Blue Jackets-Wings

Dec. 26, 2009 at Joe Louis Arena

Saturday, 12.26.2009 / 9:51 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Breakdown: Blue Jackets-Wings

With the Wings looking to break the tie in the third period, forward Todd Bertuzzi was in the right place at the right time. The Wings were creating chances in the Columbus zone, so Bertuzzi headed to the left post, and stopped there. Brian Rafalski fired a shot that went wide of the goal, but hit the end boards and bounced right to Bertuzzi. The Wings' power forward gathered in the puck and fired it into the empty net, giving the Wings the lead, and eventually the win.

Bertuzzi was the hero Saturday night, scoring the game-winner, and the Wings first goal, as well. The man known as 'Bert' got the Wings on the board in the second period, when he took a pass from Pavel Datsyuk in behind the Columbus defense, and deked goaltender Mathieu Garon out of his pads. The goals were Bertuzzi's 11th and 12th of the season, and they were huge for the Wings.

Jimmy Howard continues to excel between the pipes for Detroit. Howard made 14 saves in the first period to keep the Wings in the game. Then he made five in the second, and nine in the third, to help them hold on to the one-goal lead. He's making the saves when it counts, and he's making it hard for coach Mike Babcock to take him out.

In the past two seasons, Bertuzzi has had 14 and 15 goals, respectively. In only 38 games this season, he's already at 12.

After the game, Bertuzzi talked about his team's struggles in the first period, and how they turned it around for the remaining 40 minutes. Here's what he had to say:

"I think we were pretty disappointed with our start. We didn't come out and do anything that we wanted to do, and that was pretty embarrassing, so it was nice that we turned it around and came out with a little more jump and fire, and just tried to get more shots."

Valtteri Filppula made his return to the line-up Saturday night, after missing time due to a wrist injury. Filppula had an early scoring chance, when he got a shot through Garon's legs, but missed the net. He had 17:42 worth of ice-time, recording three shots and two hits. He showed some signs of rust, but he was a boost to the Red Wings' forward units.

The Wings travel to Columbus for a quick rematch with the Blue Jackets on Monday. They return to the Joe for a New Year's Eve match-up against the Colorado Avalanche. For tickets, click here.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80