COLUMBUS, Ohio — Red Wings coach Mike Babcock had a lot of questions. Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky seemed to have all the answers.
Bobrovsky had 29 saves in his first career shutout, and Cam Atkinson and Nick Foligno took advantage of Detroit giveaways to score in leading the suddenly hot Blue Jackets to a 3-0 victory Saturday.
"Was that mental prep? Maybe the coach wasn't getting his message across? Did we practice too hard (Friday)?" Babcock said. "I don't know a lot of the answers. But the bottom line is we weren't mentally prepared to play hard enough and long enough to have success."
The Wings get a redo at home today when they host Columbus, whose fans are looking at the playoff standings for the first time in years.
The Blue Jackets have 10 points in their past six games after getting 12 in their first 19. Last in the league by a wide margin not so long ago, the Blue Jackets are within reach of the final postseason spot in the Western Conference after winning four in a row and earning points in their past six.
The Blue Jackets, short on talent, have clawed their way back by playing blue-collar, scrambling, gritty hockey. On top of that, they are 3-0-1 against the Red Wings this season.
"We just play the game that (the Red Wings) don't want to play," said Derick Brassard, who set up Jack Johnson's power-play goal that made it 2-0.
game highlights: Vladimir Sobotka recorded his first career hat trick and Patrik Berglund scored 72 seconds into overtime to lift the Blues past the host Sharks 4-3. … John Tavares scored two power-play goals in the third period to lift the host Islanders to a 5-2 win over the Capitals.
Streak over, 'Hawks ready to move on
DENVER — The Blackhawks aren't about to mourn the end of their streak.
"We're proud of it, but it'll be nice to move on now," defenseman Duncan Keith said after the Blackhawks' 6-2 loss to the Avalanche late Friday.
The loss was Chicago's first in regulation this season and ended a run in which the Blackhawks (21-1-3) earned at least one point in their first 24 regular-season games, an NHL record.
"It's hockey. We've lost games before in our lives. It's not like we're going to sit here and cry," Keith said.
Coach Joel Quenneville said he told his team "that they should be very proud of what they accomplished. They found different ways to win, night in and night out, and everyone contributed to something that hadn't been done. It's a great feather in our cap, but let's move forward here and try to get better. Certainly it was a lot of fun up to (Friday)."
Dating to last year's regular season, Chicago's point streak was 30 games, the second-longest in league history. The 1979-80 Flyers had a 35-game unbeaten streak that included 25 wins and 10 ties in the same season.
"That's just mind-boggling," Avalanche center Paul Stastny said of Chicago's streak. "Hats off to them. … But the way our schedule was (the teams played Wednesday), we knew we had back-to-back games and would have two chances to stop it. And that's what we wanted to do, stop their streak and get one going for us."
around the league: The league hopes to resolve whether its players will participate in the 2014 Olympics by the end of the month, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. He is part of a group of league personnel leaving for Sochi, Russia, site of the Games, today for a site visit and meetings about NHL players' participation.
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First Period—1, Columbus, Atkinson 3 (Calvert), 13:46. Penalties—Aucoin, Clm (hooking), 4:55; Tootoo, Det (high-sticking), 7:33; Umberger, Clm (delay of game), 18:40.
Second Period—2, Columbus, Johnson 3 (Brassard, Umberger), 5:12 (pp). 3, Columbus, Foligno 3 (Johansen), 6:35. Penalties—Datsyuk, Det (delay of game), 4:20; Ericsson, Det (holding), 8:50; Smith, Det (holding), 14:23; Abdelkader, Det (diving), 17:39; Aucoin, Clm (holding), 17:39.
Third Period—None. Penalties—Lashoff, Det (boarding), 2:14; Gillies, Clm (tripping), 6:13; Prospal, Clm, misconduct, 13:34; Brunner, Det (interference), 14:06. Shots on Goal—Detroit 11-6-13—30. Columbus 7-6-11—24. Power-play opportunities—Detroit 0 of 3; Columbus 1 of 6. Goalies—Detroit, Gustavsson 1-1-1 (24 shots-21 saves). Columbus, Bobrovsky 7-6-3 (30-30).
First Period—1, N.Y. Islanders, Bailey 2 (Nielsen, Streit), 10:46. Penalties—Oleksy, Was (tripping), 14:23.
Second Period—2, Washington, Ward 7 (Perreault, Carlson), 1:26 (pp). 3, N.Y. Islanders, Cizikas 3 (Martin, McDonald), 10:03. Penalties—Martinek, NYI (holding stick), :48; Fehr, Was (holding), 6:58.
Third Period—4, Washington, Backstrom 3 (Fehr, Alzner), 7:09. 5, N.Y. Islanders, Tavares 15 (Boyes, Visnovsky), 12:13 (pp). 6, N.Y. Islanders, Tavares 16 (Moulson, Boyes), 12:43 (pp). 7, N.Y. Islanders, Nielsen 3 (Hamonic), 16:59 (sh). Penalties—Ribeiro, Was (unsportsmanlike conduct, high-sticking), 8:48; Schultz, Was, double minor (high-sticking), 12:35; McDonald, NYI (hooking), 16:50; Martin, NYI (roughing), 18:18. Shots on Goal—Washington 8-11-5—24. N.Y. Islanders 12-14-19—45. Power-play opportunities—Washington 1 of 3; N.Y. Islanders 2 of 6. Goalies—Washington, Grubauer 0-1-0 (45 shots-40 saves). N.Y. Islanders, Nabokov 11-7-3 (24-22).
First Period—1, Boston, Seguin 8 (Lucic, Krejci), 11:53 (pp). 2, Boston, Kelly 2 (Caron, Peverley), 13:28. 3, Boston, Paille 4 (Campbell, Thornton), 14:11. Penalties—Krejci, Bos (holding), 1:03; Timonen, Phi (hooking), 11:12.
Second Period—None. Penalties—Rinaldo, Phi, major (fighting), 11:05; Thornton, Bos, major (fighting), 11:05.
Third Period—None. Penalties—Boston bench, served by Thornton (too many men), 6:59; Caron, Bos (slashing), 12:00; Grossmann, Phi (cross-checking), 16:49. Shots on Goal—Philadelphia 5-7-11—23. Boston 6-13-9—28. Power-play opportunities—Philadelphia 0 of 3; Boston 1 of 2. Goalies—Philadelphia, Bryzgalov 11-11-1 (28 shots-25 saves). Boston, Rask 12-2-3 (23-23).
First Period—1, St. Louis, Sobotka 5 (Shattenkirk, Redden), 4:51. 2, San Jose, Couture 9 (Wingels, Irwin), 15:19. Penalties—Stewart, StL (interference), 9:29; Clowe, SJ (cross-checking), 9:29; Handzus, SJ (tripping), 12:42.
Second Period—3, San Jose, Gomez 2 (Clowe, Sheppard), 7:45. 4, San Jose, Irwin 2 (Braun, Gomez), 16:31 (pp). Penalties—Thornton, SJ (boarding), 4:08; Perron, StL (goaltender interference), 14:48.
Third Period—5, St. Louis, Sobotka 6 (Russell, Polak), 4:18. 6, St. Louis, Sobotka 7 (Stewart, Shattenkirk), 5:38 (pp). Penalties—Boyle, SJ (interference), 5:13; Thornton, SJ (interference), 6:10; Backes, StL (high-sticking), 14:22.
Overtime—7, St. Louis, Berglund 12 (Jackman, Pietrangelo), 1:12. Penalties—None. Shots on Goal—St. Louis 12-11-10-2—35. San Jose 7-12-5-1—25. Power-play opportunities—St. Louis 1 of 4; San Jose 1 of 2. Goalies—St. Louis, Allen 5-1-0 (25 shots-22 saves). San Jose, Niemi (28-25), Stalock 0-0-1 (5:38 third, 7-6).