By Christy Hammond
Former Red Wing Jason Williams snapped the Detroit Red Wings (37-12-7) six-game winning streak Friday night with the winning Columbus goal in the 3-2 final. The Wings overcame a one-goal deficit twice in the game to tie the score, but were never able to snag the lead against the Columbus Blue Jackets (27-23-5).
CBJ’s goaltender was really the story of the evening as he played in his first game since returning from a bout with mononucleosis. He stopped 32 shots, including some great scoring chances from Henrik Zetterberg and Marian Hossa, with less than a minute remaining in the game.
Detroit was kept off the scoreboard until 1:20 in the second period right after captain Nicklas Lidstrom left the penalty box after serving two minutes for hooking. Soon after stepping back onto the ice, teammate Pavel Datsyuk fed him a great pass putting him on a breakaway. Lidstrom skated up the slot before flicking it over Mason.
Lidstrom talked to Ansar Khan at MLive.com about the play:
“I tried to find an opening behind their defenseman, (Datsyuk) made a great pass,” Lidstrom said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever scored coming right out of the box and getting a breakaway.”
Columbus responded nearly six minutes later on a goal by Jason Chimera at 7:21 in the middle frame, but Detroit was not out yet as they tied the game back up 4:04 into the third. Jiri Hudler slid a nice pass to Mikael Samuelsson, who then took a hard shot from the slot sending the puck over Mason’s left shoulder.
Unfortunately, ex-Wing Williams earned the game-winning goal against his former teammates at 13:05 in the final stanza. Willy came down the right side of the ice and fired a shot from the right faceoff dot, squeaking between Chris Osgood and the right goalpost.
The Wings were unable to mount a third comeback bid, falling short in a 3-2 loss against Columbus. Detroit will play its third game in four days on Sunday when the Wings host the Colorado Avalanche at 5 p.m.