Breakdown: Blue Jackets-Wings
Dec. 26, 2009 at Joe Louis Arena
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."