The Columbus Blue Jackets (13-8-2) will visit the Detroit Red Wings (10-10-3) tonight in a matchup between two clubs that are seemingly trending in the right direction. The season series between these teams is split 1-1 with the road team victorious in both contests. Puck drop for the final regular season game between these two will be shortly after 7:30 PM ET.
The Blue Jackets were a different team the last time they faced the Detroit Red Wings. At the time of their last matchup on October 30, the CBJ were 6-4-0, coming off an impressive road victory in St. Louis against the Blues, and were trying to find an identity on the young season. The team proceeded to allow three goals in the first period against Detroit at Nationwide Arena, ultimately losing 5-3 to the Red Wings, who were 2-7-2 heading into that game.
Since then, the Jackets are 7-3-2 and have been flirting with first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Wings have been on a roll since that late October contest too, going 7-3-1 since beating the Blue Jackets that night.
One reason for Detroit’s success is the play of their fourth year center, Andreas Anthanasiou. He leads the team in goals with 10 this season and has scored six in the eight games he’s played since the calendar turned over to November. Tonight’s game will be the first time he’ll face the CBJ since the season opener– Anthanasiou missed their last matchup with the Jackets due to injury.
Across the ice, Cam Atkinson enters tonight’s game as one of the hottest players in the National Hockey League. He tied the franchise record for goals in consecutive games on Saturday night in Pittsburgh, scoring in his seventh straight contest. He’s collected nine goals during that span and is up to 15 on the season, which not only leads the team but also ranks fifth in the NHL.
After earning a point in seven straight games, the Jackets lost two of their three contests last week, lost their spot atop the Metro, and now head to Detroit to face a talented Red Wings team. The Wings have lost two straight, so they’ll be looking to get back on track too. Should be an interesting game tonight at Little Caesars Arena.