The Detroit Red Wings iced a team that appeared to be determining who will be on the final roster once the final three games of the preseason are completed.
Things did not get off to an optimal start as the Red Wings fell into a 2-0 hole, rallied, but eventually fell 4-2 Wednesday night.
Columbus was on the board early after Oliver Bjorkstrand potted an early goal off a rebound and jumped out by two when Zach Werenski fluttered one through traffic. The Red Wings were being outshot at one point 20-8, but closed the gap a bit by the middle of the second.
Mitchell Stephens had an in close chance stoned by Jackets goalie Elvis Merzļikins and Lucas Raymond was stopped not only the wily netminder, but also by the post. The Red Wings had more chances in the second, and were gifted with a power play late in the period after a Columbus bench minor for too many men on the ice.
In the third, the Red Wings resumed their man advantage, with a unit including Moritz Seider and Bobby Ryan. Ryan came close to a goal on a beautiful feed from Adam Erne but Merzlinkins cast that attempt aside as well.
But the Red Wings broke through courtesy of a Riley Barber snapshot on a gorgeous feed by Filip Zadina, cutting the lead to 2-1.
The Red Wings answered with the tying goal minutes later on a Dan Renouf goal, which was a result of an outstanding shift by Givani Smith. The rugged forward was patient and twice prevented a zone exit, and found Renouf, who buried the equalizer.
But it was shortlived. Jakub Voráček batted a bouncing puck into the net after a rebound, beating Alex Nedeljkovic who was trying to reset his positioning. Columbus grabbed the lead back 3-2 and then snagged a power play chance with about 5:30 left in the game. Patrik Laine saw to it that Columbus would convert, zig-zagging through Red Wings and firing it past Nedeljkovic to give the Blue Jackets a 4-2 lead. Nevermind that Seider was one of the victims in Laine’s slicing and dicing of the Wings skaters.
Columbus had another power play opportunity late, and regardless that they didn’t score, the game was put to bed as a result. The Red Wings had chances but couldn’t fend off Columbus once they tied it up.
The Wings are right back at it tomorrow against Pittsburgh at Little Caesars Arena.