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Red Wings Game recap...12/26

By: Channing Cummins

The Red Wings picked up a much needed two points Saturday night after defeating the Blue Jackets 2-1. Saturday's game not only ended a losing streak but it also marked the return of defenseman Brian Rafalski and foirrward Valtteri Filppula. The win puts the Wings one point away from the final playoff spot in the conference.

Antoine Vermette got it started for the Jackets in the first period with his 11th goal of the season. The first period belonged to the Jackets, as they took all of the mometum going into the lockeroom. The Wings were outshot 15-6 in the first and once again the team seemed to be stuck in the same slump as they showed against Chicago. I couldn't help but think "Here we go again" as the team seemed slow and constantly out of position.

The second period proved to be a completely different story as the Wings got things turned around. The defense stepped it up, only allowing five shots the entire period. The spotlighted seemed to be focused on the almighty Todd Bertuzzi who got it started in the second with a ppg. His 11th goal came on what seemed like an empty netter after he got Jacket's goalie Mathieu Garon to bite a fake shot and leave the entire goal open.

With the two teams tied at one going into the third, the period proved to be a battle as the two teams went back and forth. This tie wouldn't last long however, as Bertuzzi notched what proved to be the game winner less than three minutes into the period. The goal came somewhat easily as Burt put in another open netter after receiving a deflection off of the end boards. Right place, right time but that's seems to be what the team needs these days to score goals. Behind Howard's strong performance the Wings wrapped up their 19th win of the season.

It's hard not to wonder where the team would be without Bertuzzi's recent hot streak and Howard's solid goaltending. With Burt scoring our only goals and Howard stopping 28 shots, Wings fans have to be a bit worried. The team continues to show signs of a team that we're just not accustomed to.

Lidstrom did provide some sense of relief Saturday with his two assists. This has to be a good sign as with the recent struggle for Mr. Norris. The recent additions of Ralfs and Filps will also provide a little more relief as we start to see some of the injured return. With six of the next seven games on the road, nine of the next twelve, we're going to need someone to get it going if the Wings plan on being successful.

The Wings will have a rematch with the Jackets Monday night as they travel to Columbus. With Nash having a quiet night on Saturday and Columbus' history against the Wings, nothing will come easy for the team if they plan on winning.

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